Te Wairua Auaha: emancipatory Māori entrepreneurship in screen production

Henry, Ella
Keiha, Pare
Crothers, Charles
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

This thesis-exegesis is presented as a written work and documentary. The documentary drew on narratives from Māori producers. The documentary is available on DVD from AUT Library, but is not available for download on-line. The written work provides the detail of the research. The study explored, analysed and developed theory about Māori in screen production, and how their identity and experiences combined to their shape careers and entrepreneurial intent.

The literature review focussed on Kaupapa Māori, Māoritanga, ‘insider’ research; identity theory; career theory; social, indigenous and emancipatory entrepreneurship. This literature was supplemented with a history of Māori involvement in screen production. The research comprised two phases, an on-line survey and in-depth interviews with Māori who own production companies that have produced a significant body of Māori-centric work. The original contribution of this thesis is the development of a theory of emancipatory Māori entrepreneurship in screen production, which has grown out of the data, founded on the following propositions. When one experiences and fosters: Mana Tangata People who shape, inform, empower and encourage life choices, career pathways and entrepreneurial endeavours; AND Mana Whenua Places that nourish and shelter, birth-places, schools, communities, work-places, sites that enhance achievement in chosen fields; AND
Mana Atua Purpose and power that infuses the passion, fuels the vision for story-telling, career and entrepreneurship; AND Mana Motuhake Self-determination for Māori is an important aspiration, taking control of Māori story-telling, the drive to create organisations in which one can enact authentic identities and inwardly-derived values; THEN Wairua Auaha may emerge. Wairua Auaha: Emancipatory Māori Entrepreneurship Wairua Auaha means creative spirit, the creative spirit of Māori entrepreneurs in screen production. Story-telling is the visible sign of emancipatory Māori entrepreneurship, which eventually is reflected in the creation of production companies that are underpinned by the desire to take control of the story-telling process, to participate in the revitalisation of Māori language and culture, and the achievement of tino rangatiratanga through creative enterprise. The notion of creative spirit, Wairua Auaha, has been adopted to describe the essence of the invincible Māori-ness of a whānau (community) of extraordinary talent that has been driven by entrepreneurial endeavour. The theory of emancipatory Māori entrepreneurship in screen production provides a framework for the development of strategies and programmes that enable: • Māori to train and develop creative writing, story-telling, production and business skills, in ways that reinforce Māori identity and self-efficacy; • Māori entrepreneurs in screen production to setup organisations that reflect their cultural, social and business aspirations; • Māori to network and support each other in the screen industry; • Māori production companies to derive greater certainty about long-term programming needs, ensuring consistency in decision-making about future investment in funding; The challenge for those in Māori media education is to concurrently deliver Kaupapa Māori foundations alongside technical skills, nurture self-belief and creativity, ensuring that future generations are connected to their identity as Māori and story-tellers. The Model provides a theoretical construct against which ideas can be tested, including how and when the ‘creative spirit’ of Māori entrepreneurship can be enhanced, and how we can manaaki (support) future generations so their Wairua Auaha is both ignited and strengthened.

Māori entrepreneurship , Māori screen production
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