Successful Marsden Bid Fund for Project ‘Whāngai and the adoption of Māori: healing the past, transforming the future’

November 06, 2017

Kua kitea ngā huruhuru i Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden e rere ai te manu nei. He mahi rangahau ka toru tau e kawea ana, i raro i te maru o Te Wānanga o Raukawa, e mahi ngātahi ai ētahi o ngā mōhio ki tēnei kaupapa, puta noa i Aotearoa. 

Ko tēnei mea te whāngai aukati, he tuku i te tamaiti kia whāngaia e ētahi tauhou me te momotu i ōna hononga ki ōna whakapapa. He taru tawhiti tēnei ki te ao Māori. Hāunga anō tēnei, e hia ngahuru mano ngā tamariki Māori i whāngaia pēneitia i waenga i te tau 1955 me te 1985, i tauwehe ai rātou i ō rātou whānau ake, i ō rātou hapū ake, i ō rātou iwi ake. Kātahi te tikanga tino rerekē, ko tēnei. I runga i te whāngai tūturu, ka hāpainga, ka manaakitia ngā tātai whakapapa, te whītiki o te toto.

 Ko tā te kaupapa nei he whakakotahi mai i te whāngai aukati i te Māori me te whāngai tūturu a te Māori ki te rangahautanga kotahi – he tuatahitanga hoki tēnei. Ka kohia haerehia ngā whakaaro, ngā wheako o ngā whānau whānui tonu – kāore e anga noa ki ngā mātua ake, ki ngā mātua whāngai me ngā tāngata anō i whāngaia. Ka tirohia anō hoki ngā mahi haumanu, ngā mahi whakatika i te porihanga, me te aro nui anō ki te wāhi ki te whāngai tūturu a te Māori i ora ai, i puta ai ngā ihu o te hunga koirā te huarahi i pakeke mai ai rātou.

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A three-year project entitled Whāngai and the adoption of Māori: healing the past, transforming the future has been successful in this year’s round of Marsden Fund applications. The project is to be hosted by Te Wānanga o Raukawa and brings together a team of scholars from throughout Aotearoa.

The practice of closed adoption, placing infants with strangers and severing their relationship with their whakapapa, is completely foreign to Māori.  And yet between 1955 and 1985, tens of thousands of Māori were adopted, cutting their ties to their birth whānau, hapū, and iwi. This could not be more different from the practice of whāngai, with its emphasis on the maintenance of whakapapa. 

This project will bring the adoption of Māori and the practice of whāngai together in a single study for the first time. It will include experiences of wider whanau, rather than concentrating solely on the birth and adoptive parents, and the adopted person. It will also consider healing and social change, with a particular focus on the role of whāngai in their achievement. 

Mereana Selby, Tumuaki of Te Wānanga o Raukawa, has described the project as “an excellent fit with our goal of contributing to the survival of Māori as a people”.

ENDS

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