This article presents the findings of a research project that examined six Māori students’ perceptions of how their Māori identity impacted on their experiences in a four-year Bachelor of Physical Education (BPE) programme. The BPE programme is positioned in a faculty of education situated in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, and has an annual intake of approximately 60–70 students. On average 20% of these identify as Māori. The research process involved both individual and group interviews conducted by the first author, who asked the students what Māori identity meant to them, and how they sensed their Māori identity had impacted on their experience of the BPE programme.
This article focuses on the cultural resources that made Māori carers resilient when providing care to an ill family member at the end of life. Caring often took place against a backdrop of poverty, personal factors, racism and a lack of health literacy affecting access to resources. The action values of aroha and manaakitanga, compassionate giving, caring, receiving and sharing established a resilient foundation upon which whānau engaged in the illness-to-death trajectory. It served to fortify the dying and their whānau and provided a sense of belonging and a meaningful way of engaging with illness, dying, death and bereavement.
This research explored the capacity of whānau to overcome adversity, flourish and enjoy better health and well-being. It considers the multiple ways in which whānau contribute to the development of its members and the various mechanisms employed to foster growth and security. While external factors, internal dynamics, and financial pressures often constrain capacity, whānau have nevertheless demonstrated an innate ability to respond to these challenges, to make use of limited resources, and to react in positive and innovative ways. A thematic analysis of whānau cohorts and expert responses detailed the components of whānau responses to adversity, and therefore whānau resilience.