Māori Performing Arts and the Weaving Together of Local, National and International Communities
Māori performing arts provides a valuable contribution to Aotearoa New Zealand society. Māori performing arts has an intrinsic link to Māori culture and is used to connect 1) Māori who are disengaged from iwi/hapu/whanau, as well as 2) non-Māori, in New Zealand and around the world with Māori culture. Performance genres such as waiata-a-ringa, haka and mōteatea contain a body of knowledge that communicate Māori ways of being and doing and provide participants with an opportunity to become connected to a culturally literate and informed community. Using ethnographic techniques of participant observation, interviews and performance, this thesis examines the experiences of individuals who engage with Māori performing arts and the meaning they attribute to their engagement with the art form. Drawing on contemporary ideas of community and meaning, this thesis also investigates how Māori performing arts builds and strengthens relationships and whanaungatanga by connecting participants to local, national and international Aotearoa New Zealand communities. This thesis draws on two contexts in Wellington where people engage with Māori performing arts - The Ngāti Pōneke Young Māori Club at Pipitea marae and Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music. Along with exploring two Māori performance context in detail, this these explores how Māori performing arts is used as a platform to educate participants about Māori knowledge, language and culture while also discussing how Māori performing arts is used to symbolise and represent Aotearoa New Zealand nationally and internationally.