The success stories of wāhine Māori : before, during and after social work education : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Master of Social Work degree at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Wāhine Māori social workers are influential within both personal and professional realms. The success they achieve permeates not only through their whānau but extends in the ongoing work undertaken within communities, social service agencies, within academia and within their social work practice alongside service users. This research explores the success stories of six wāhine Māori social workers and their journeys in life and education before, during and following successful achievement of tertiary social work degrees. This research identifies forces which have influenced their success from both historical and contemporary contexts within Aotearoa and presents insight into how wāhine Māori achieved this success. This research employed a qualitative approach founded in Kaupapa Māori and Mana Wāhine theory in order to capture the voice and experiences of wāhine Māori. These wāhine have overcome and navigated many forces in their lives whilst achieving many successes within educational endeavours and within professional social work practice alongside whānau, hapū and iwi. This research found that wāhine Māori social workers have strong attributes of both resilience and determination. The greatest motivation of which, in all phases of their journeys was found to be children. Wāhine Māori value education that contributes to growth within themselves, is founded within their worldview. This research highlighted that wāhine Māori carry many responsibilities however it is evident that wāhine Māori measure success through reciprocal relationships and the roles they have within their whānau. A strong influence within the journey and successes of these wāhine Māori comes from within their own whakapapa. This research has been undertaken by a wāhine Māori social worker and educator. It contributes to the growing efforts of wāhine Māori within scholarship and demonstrates that wāhine Māori continue to achieve success regardless of the forces surrounding them within their lives.
Māori Masters Thesis