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Felicity Ware

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2020
College of Health


Thesis Title
It’s hard being a young parent, it’s even harder being a young Māori parent: Young Māori parents’ experiences of raising a family

Young Māori parents play a significant part in raising the next generation of indigenous children who will shape the future of Aotearoa New Zealand. Ms Ware examined the historical, cultural, political, and social contexts that influence early parenting for Māori. While parents at any age require support, being young and Māori may present additional challenges and different support needs. A Māori narrative approach was developed to gather, present, and analyse the perspectives of 19 young Māori parents from the Manawatū about support during pregnancy, birth, and parenting. The findings demonstrate that support for young Māori parents is shaped by commonly held views about what it means to be a young Māori parent. These views were particularly difficult to navigate for parents receiving welfare. Support for young Māori parents would be helped by the authentic promotion of Māori knowledge, practices, language, identity, and experiences associated with pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Associate Professor Mary Breheny
Associate Professor Margaret Forster