The Formation of Pākehā Identity in Relation to Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori
Thesis DisciplineMaori Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis explores the experiences of European New Zealanders who have learnt te reo Māori and how through their learning they have gained a better understanding of what it means to be Pākehā in New Zealand. This thesis looks at the reasons why European New Zealanders want to learn te reo Māori (chapter 5); experiences from learning te reo Māori and being involved with Māori culture within both te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā are also discussed (chapter 6). The concept of a Pākehā identity, one that involves a relationship with te ao Māori is also examined (chapter 7). The use of the term Pākehā by European New Zealanders is a rather recent phenomenon. The thesis endeavours to discover differences between those European New Zealanders who do and do not identify with the term 'Pākehā'. Which New Zealanders identify with the term 'Pākehā', and the examination of who finds the term derogatory is also discussed (chapter 4). Since European contact with Māori, fluency in te reo Māori in New Zealand has dramatically declined. As a background to the research undertaken here, this study also reviews the history of te reo Māori since European contact and the revitalisation efforts made by Māori to maintain the language. The exploration of the idea that te reo Māori can be the basis of a new national identity that all New Zealanders can share is also discussed (Chapter 2). This chapter also explores the origin and meaning of the term Pākehā, and the creation of popular usage of the term among European New Zealanders.