Māori Expatriates Return Home: How Has COVID-19 Impacted Māori Expatriates Returning to New Zealand in 2020?
The purpose of this research is to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Māori expatriates who have returned to New Zealand. Expatriate literature focusses on expatriate management, challenges faced abroad and discusses the concept of expatriate failure. During a COVID-19 era, we have seen the impact of COVID-19 on globalisation and the movement of people and goods worldwide. Expatriates have repatriated back to their home countries and scholars have argued that the literature focusses more on the life of expatriates during their assignment and tends to have less emphasis on the repatriation phase and what are the experiences of the individual thereafter. The literature found and discussed in this dissertation has also proven that there is little-to-none research of Māori expatriates abroad which presents a research gap to shed light on expatriation through a Māori worldview. The repatriation literature has discussed push and pull factors which motivate expatriates to return home, however there is no research which explores push and pull factors through a Kaupapa Māori lens, therefore leading to the research question: How has COVID-19 impacted Māori expatriates returning to New Zealand in 2020. In order to explore the experiences of Māori expatriates who have returned home, and to answer the research question proposed, a Kaupapa Māori Methodology approach is carried out for this research. As the study is qualitative in nature, in-depth interviews and a thematic analysis of these interviews are an appropriate tool to collect the data and present the findings. This methodology considers world views which are relative to Māori and allows for narratives by Māori to Māori, to be interpreted. In order to answer the “how” and “what” questions of this research, online in-depth interviews, telephone calls and communication via email with Māori expatriates who have returned to New Zealand in 2020 have been carried out. The key themes which were identified as being push and pull factors, and motivations for the participants were whanaungatanga, hauora and whakaterenga. This study will contribute to the limited literature on Māori expatriates and repatriation and may provide insights into improved support for Māori returning to New Zealand, and the impacts of the global pandemic.