This thesis is a creative work of fiction, which explores the intergenerational relationship between two protagonists, Mereana and Kahukura, who whakapapa Māori and Pākehā. Their tandem narrative speaks to the effects and consequences of trauma, coupled with being matakite. It gives voice to this without pathologising, by normalising the protagonists’ kōrero. This is shown in both real and reflective time, and illustrates the interwoven journey of survival and healing. Wairuatanga both underpins and connects the two women.
The accompanying exegesis examines the links between Contemporary Māori Fiction, and Trauma Narratives (within Aotearoa Fiction). In my review of selected key texts, I focused on the themes of whānau, whakapapa, gender, wairuatanga and trauma. Through comparing these texts the themes were explored further, while making parallels to my own creative process. The aims of this research were to give voice to survivors of trauma who whakapapa Māori and Pākehā, to de-stigmatise abuse and trauma and acknowledge the detrimental effects on wellbeing, and finally to demystify wairua experiences as normative and integral to wellbeing.