What Is the Experience of Being Both Māori and Pākehā? Negotiating the Experience of the Hybrid Cultural Object

Grennell, Niki
Tudor, Keith
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Master of Psychotherapy
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Auckland University of Technology

This dissertation addresses the question: “What is the experience of being both Māori and Pākehā?” and has as its subtitle: “Negotiating the experience of the hybrid cultural object.” The methodologies used are Kaupapa Research Theory and phenomenology, with the principle method Heuristic Research Method.

By 2051 Durie (2011) predicts that the Māori ethnic population will rise to 22 percent of the total population of Aotearoa New Zealand. Each one of the 22 percent will not have only Māori ancestry. Each one of the 22 percent will have ancestry that is also other than indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Currently Māori and Pākehā sit in binary positioning. This positioning has been essential for Māori who have needed strength of identity in order to counter the effects of colonisation. Pākehā have also benefited from maintaining Māori in the position of “other”. It is common to name individuals as either Māori or Pākehā despite having ancestry that is both Māori and Pākeha.

Those who have both Māori and Pākehā ancestry, a hybrid cultural identification, may become invisible in the current discourse, their experience denied. Phenotype becomes a marker of cultural identification from both external and internal perspectives.

The researcher’s personal experience of being both Māori and Pākeha, negotiating belonging and not belonging, is used as a base from which to explore and expand knowledge of hybrid cultural experience.

Māori , Identity
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