We know the way : exploring how cultural knowledge contributes to whānau wellbeing for those who identify as both Māori/Pacific : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa (Massey University, Manawatū), Aotearoa (New Zealand)

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In Aotearoa, there has been an increasing demographic of those who whakapapa to both Māori and Pacific heritage. Over the last fifty years, Māori and Pacific people have gradually become increasingly similar on a range of key demographic, social and economic outcomes. While initiatives and social services provide kaupapa Māori and Pacific services, there is a greater emphasis on social service practices that focus on cultural knowledge to improve a sense of wellbeing that can lead to sustainable outcomes for whānau. Studies show that initiatives to improve wellbeing outcomes for Māori/Pacific whānau will be more successful if they are designed, developed, and implemented by Māori/Pacific whānau, themselves. This research aims to explore how this could be achieved by investigating the idea of “How cultural knowledge contributes to wellbeing for whānau who identify as Māori/Pacific”. This research uses an Indigenous methodology, grounded in cultural knowledge. Additionally, qualitative research methods and thematic analysis of whānau narratives in the form of case studies were used to understand whānau voices from their worldview. A cross-cultural collective method of pūrākau and talanoa was chosen to collect the in-depth data and experiences of whānau with overarching principles of ngā takepū guiding the process. Exploring the deeper meaning of culture through whānau narratives highlighted how cultural knowledge impacts wellbeing, which can inform engagement with social services on an operational level of intervention. Cultural knowledge must be shrouded in tikanga, whakapapa and values determined by the whānau. The key findings of this research imply that positive self-identity, whānau wellbeing, the transmission of knowledge and maintaining relationships with the collective of extended whānau are required to understand how cultural knowledge contributes to the wellbeing of whānau who identify as both Māori/Pacific.
Māori Masters Thesis