Cultural Learning in Young Māori Offenders and Their Families: A Preliminary Model
It has been acknowledged that many Māori individuals have become disconnected from their cultural heritage, and this includes young people who have come to the attention of the police, and their families. Community remedial programmes have been funded by the Government through the Ministry of Justice and New Zealand Police to work with young Māori offenders. There is an expectation that by including compensatory cultural components to address assumed weak cultural links through Māori cultural activities, these programmes will be able to rectify the impacts of colonising activities. In this research 23 young Māori people who had attended a community youth programme and 19 parents/caregivers were interviewed about what was important to them and about the place of Māori cultural activities in their lives. Interviews with 14 programme provider staff, four New Zealand Police staff, five community stakeholders and a Judge from a Rangatahi Court explored what they saw were the experiences for the young people and their families. The interviews were semi-structured and interview data was analysed using Grounded Theory to generate a Theory of Māori cultural learning and model of a Māori cultural framework within which Māori cultural socialisation occurs. Findings identified three family composition groups as reflecting aspects of multi-realities for the participant families which were highlighted by membership of whanau family groups; presence of family leadership; participation in Māori cultural community and location of family residence. The differences between the family composition groups had resulted from a breakdown of Māori community and disruption to the function of Māori cultural activities which also impacted on the structures and process of Māori cultural socialisation and transmission. These findings are discussed as are implications for the providers of remedial programmes for young Māori and their families, Māori families, whanau and communities. Suggestions for future research are also made.