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“Ngā pakiaka a Te Rēhia, ka tipua i te ao rangatahi” An Intersectional Analysis of Kapa Haka and Healing for Rangatahi Māori

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posted on 14.04.2021, 20:58 by Gifford, Joanne

“Pāpaki whakapapa, Pāpaki ahurea, Pāpaki oranga, Ki ngā pakiaka a te rēhia, Kia tipua ai i te ao Rangatahi.” This thesis provides insights into the experiences of rangatahi Māori and Kapa Haka. Through an intersectional and Kaupapa Māori lens, it explores the potential of Kapa Haka in the realms of belonging, identity and healing. In doing so, it illustrates the dynamic value of Kapa Haka for alleviating cultural disconnection and facilitating healing within the context of current contemporary challenges such as the mental health crisis, climate change tensions and discrimination that rangatahi Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand face today. The aim of this work is to contribute to the wave of Kaupapa Māori research demonstrating the transformative impact of Māori tikanga, kawa, and knowledges in alleviating the impact of colonial violence on the wellbeing of our people. This thesis draws on Wānanga as a powerful method for co-constructing knowledge with rangatahi Māori. Claiming Wānanga as a method contributes to the decolonial project not by inventing something new, but by recognising the power and sophistication of Indigenous knowledge making processes. This thesis weaves together the experiences of ten Wānanga participants with autoethnographic reflections, literature, cultural theory and contemporary discussion to provide nuanced glimpses into the complex entity that is Kapa Haka today.


Advisor 1

Gibson, Lorena

Advisor 2

Ross, Mike

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Māori Studies

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Language


Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Māori Studies : Te Kawa a Māui