A Kaupapa Māori Study of Sibling and Whānau Relationships: A Pūrākau Approach

Amopiu, Michelle
Mikahere-Hall, Alayne
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Master of Psychotherapy
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Auckland University of Technology

Siblings share a unique and intricate relationship unlike any other that offers a link to the past and connection to the present. Typically raised alongside one another, individual roles within the shared experience naturally develop between siblings and may alternate between adversary and ally. This dissertation investigates aspects of sibling relationships and their whānau using Kaupapa Māori as a methodological approach, drawing on traditional pūrākau as a qualitative method of inquiry. The study suggests that as a lifelong connection the sibling relationship informs the emotional and cognitive development of tamariki (children) within a whānau context.

An examination of the pūrākau about Tangaroa atua (god) of the moana, his siblings and wider whānau informs this study. Important mātauranga reveals ancient themes which are relevant and applicable to understanding the dynamics of siblings through a contemporary lens.

Implications for child psychotherapy are considered and psychotherapists are encouraged to engage with traditional knowledge articulated in pūrākau. The inclusion of this mātauranga informs relevant and responsive healing practices for mokopuna and whānau Māori.

Kaupapa Māori , Siblings , Pūrākau , Mokopuna , Whānau , Psychotherapy , Atua
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