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Madeleine Haerewa

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2020
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Getting Insight into the Wellbeing Needs of Māori youth: Perspectives of Students Attending Alternative Education

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Alternative education (AE) in New Zealand seeks to meet the educational needs of students who have been excluded from mainstream high school. These students often present with health-risk behaviours and emotional concerns. Rangatahi Māori have a strong presence in AE due to higher rates of exclusion than non-Maori, placing them at a significant disadvantage in both educational and mental health standing. Ms Haerewa explored the wellbeing needs of rangatahi Māori who attend AE. She found that we need holistic approaches to wellbeing to improve these outcomes for rangatahi Māori. Her results indicated that whanau-like environments within AE promote wellbeing and demonstrate the importance for rangatahi of feeling connected in relationships and with their environment. Her research concludes that a pūnaha hauropi (socio-ecological system) approach should be considered to optimise the wellbeing of rangatahi Māori who are, or are at risk of, experiencing school disenfranchisement.

Professor Kerry Chamberlain
Dr Simon Bennett
Dr Hukarere Valentine