Maori Grandfathers in Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Maori society in Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, is organized on the basis of tribes and extended families (whanau). Where whanau continue to be strong, they exhibit shared parenting and strong relationships between grandchildren and grandparents. Traditional grandparenting roles can be harder to maintain in the modern context, with the influences of urbanization, migration and reduced co-residence. Nevertheless, Maori grandfathers speak proudly of their tribal heritage and ancestry. They emphasize their roles of protecting and passing on traditional knowledge and maintaining intergenerational continuity. Where necessary, grandparents may take over the raising of grandchildren considered to be at risk. The New Zealand Children, Young Persons and their Families Act (1989) was strongly influenced by traditional Maori concepts of whanau and collective responsibility for children.
KeywordsMaori culture Intergenerational relationships Grandparenting
The authors wish to thank Professor Chris Cunningham, Director of Te Pumanawa Hauora, Research Centre for Maori Health and Development, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, for his helpful comments on the draft chapter. In addition to the material collected by Cherryl Smith in her own research (Smith 2010), four Maori grandfathers participated in informal discussions with us in mid-March 2015. These four are referred to by pseudonyms. Informed verbal consent was obtained before the start of the discussions.
- Bengston, V. (1985). Diversity and symbolism in grandparental roles. In V. Bengston & J. Robertson (Eds.), Grandparenthood (pp. 11–25). Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
- Breheny, M., & Stephens, C. (2007). Older adults’ experiences of family life: Linked lives and independent livin—A qualitative analysis of interviews with thirty-six older adults. Blue Skies Research Report 21/07 Families Commission, Wellington.Google Scholar
- Carter, J. (1998). None of us is what our tupuna were: When ‘growing up Pākehā’ is ‘growing up Māori’. In W. Ihimaera (Ed.), Growing up Maori (pp. 253–267). Auckland: Tandem Press.Google Scholar
- Cunningham, C., Stevenson, B., & Tassell, N. (2005). Analysis of the characteristics of whānau in Aotearoa. Report prepared for the Ministry of Education, RCMHD, Wellington.Google Scholar
- Didham, R., & Callister, P. (2014, March). Ethnic intermarriage in New Zealand: A brief update. Research note, Callister & Associates, Paekakariki. www.callister.co.nz.
- Durie, M. (1989). The treaty of Waitangi—Perspectives on social policy. In I. Kawharu (Ed.), Waitangi Maori and Pakeha perspectives of the treaty of Waitangi. Auckland: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Durie, M. (1995). Nga Matatini Māori: Diverse Māori realities. Palmerston North: Massey University.Google Scholar
- Durie, M. (2001). Kaumātuatanga reciprocity: Māori elderly and whānau. In S. Gee (Ed.), Experiences of a lifetime: Older New Zealanders as volunteers. 40+ project (pp. 30–37). Wellington: Victoria University.Google Scholar
- Edwards, W. (2010). Taupaenui: Maori positive ageing. Unpublished PhD thesis, Massey University, Palmerston North.Google Scholar
- Families Commission. (2009a). Changing roles of grandparents—A quantitative study. Final Report. UMR Research for New Zealand Families Commission: Wellington.Google Scholar
- Families Commission. (2009b). Age of first becoming a grandparent. UMR Omnibus Results. Families Commission: Wellington.Google Scholar
- Families Commission. (2010). Changing roles: The pleasures and pressures of being a grandparent in New Zealand. Research Report 1/10. Families Commission: Wellington.Google Scholar
- Families Commission (2012). Tupuna-nga kaitaiaki mokopuna: A resource for Mäori grandparents. New Zealand Families Commission: Wellington.Google Scholar
- Hall, D., & Metge, J. (2002). Kua Tuta-te Puehu: Kia Mau—Maori aspirations and family law. In M. Henaghan & B. Atkin (Eds.), Family law policy in New Zealand. LexisNexis Butterworths: Wellington.Google Scholar
- Henaghan, M. (2014). Grandparents who care for grandchildren. In K. Diesfield & I. McIntosh (Eds.), Elder law in New Zealand (pp. 553–578). Wellington: Thomson Reuters.Google Scholar
- Ihimaera, W. (1998). Growing up Māori. Auckland: Tandem Press.Google Scholar
- Jenkins, K., & Harte, H. (2011). Traditional Maori parenting: An historical review of literature of traditional Maori child rearing practices in pre-European times. Auckland: Te Kahui Mana Ririki.Google Scholar
- Jones, R., Crengle, S., & McCreanor, T. (2006). How tikanga guides and protects the research process: Insights from the Hauora Tane project. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand, (29), 60–77.Google Scholar
- Mead, H. (2003). Tikanga Maori. Wellington: Huia Publishers.Google Scholar
- Metge, J. (1990). Te Rito o te Harakeke: Conceptions of the whanau. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 99(1), 55–92.Google Scholar
- Metge, J. (1995). New growth from old: The whanau in the modern world. Wellington: Victoria University Press.Google Scholar
- Okeroa, K., & Nikora, L. (2006). Whangai: remembering, understanding and experiencing. MAI Review 1 Intern Report 7. http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/1230. Accessed 7 Dec 2015.
- Pihama, L., & Penehira, M. (2005). Building baseline data on Maori whanau development and Maori realising their potential: Literature review—Facilitating engagement, Final Report. The International Research Institute for Maori and Indigenous Education (IRI), University of Auckland, for Te Puni Kokiri, Auckland.Google Scholar
- Pitama, D., Ririnui, G., & Mikaere, A. (2002). Guardianship, custody and access: Māori perspectives and experiences. Wellington: Ministry of Justice.Google Scholar
- Ra, M. (2002). Mana a Tōku ko Tane: The right to stand tall: Conversations with the old people. Te Kauwhata: Mitaki Ra Publications.Google Scholar
- Smith, C. (2010). The health and wellbeing of Maori grandparents raising Mokopuna. Report to the Health Research Council for the Erihapeti Rehu-Murchie Postdoctoral Fellowship.Google Scholar
- Statistics New Zealand. (2013). Te Kupenga, June-August. Statistics New Zealand, Wellington. http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/maori/TeKupenga_HOTP13/Commentary.aspx#maj.
- Tomlins-Jahnke, A., & Durie, A. (2008). Whanau socialisation through everyday talk: A pilot study. Families Commission: Wellington.Google Scholar
- Waldon, J. (2004). Oranga Kaumatua: Perceptions of heath in older Maori people. Social Policy Journal of New Zealand (23),167–180.Google Scholar
- Waldrop, D., Weber, J., Herald, S., Pruett, J., Cooper, K., & Juozapavicius, K. (1999). Wisdom and life experience: How grandfathers mentor their grandchildren. Journal of Aging and Identity, 4(1), 33–46.Google Scholar
- Walker, T. (2006). Whanau is whanau. Blue Skies Report No. 8/06. Families Commission: Wellington.Google Scholar
- Whanau Ora Taskforce. (2010). Whanau Ora: Report of the taskforce on whanau-centred initiatives. Wellington: Te Puni Kokiri. http://www.tpk.govt.nz/_documents/Whānau-ora-taskforce-report.pdf.
- Worrall, J. (2005). Grandparents and other relatives raising kin children in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Auckland: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Charitable Trust.Google Scholar
- Worrall, J. (2009). Grandparents and whanau/extended families raising kin children in Aotearoa/New Zealand: A view over time. Auckland: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Charitable Trust. http://www.grg.org.nz/uploads/75791/files/GRGResearchReport_09.09.09.pdf.