Whenua Māori - Hokia ki Tō Whenua, He Taonga Tuku Iho
The thesis is a microcosm of the Māori colonial experience and its aftermath (postcolonialism). It is explored through a case study of contemporary Māori land ownership in a post-colonial context. The painful reality of land alienation is a constant that whānau are all too familiar with and is palpable throughout this work. This reality is multi-faceted, taking into account the spiritual, physical and emotional connection that Māori have with the land. I ask: How does the history of the whenua shape the relationship between people and the land?
This work explores ‘the lived reality’ of whānau and foregrounds the impacts of colonisation. The outcome of the research is not only about shedding light on the painful experiences of severance but seeks to move beyond grievance, to enable future generations to move forward and to navigate powerful solutions.
As a case study it investigates the alienation of whenua Māori and the losses incurred, both collective and personal, by Ataiti Te Rehu Hoterene. In many ways this research is about the future and the potential opportunities to develop ancestral lands in a way that empowers whānau to move beyond the imposition of colonisation.