Whanau Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (2011)

FamCom1.jpgby the Families Commission

A report by the Families Commission, highlighting stories of inspirational whanau.

Whanau Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (2011) draws on Maori knowledge, cultural practices and methods to research stories of whanau success. Informed by the integrated nature of Maori knowledge, this paper addresses social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects of whanau development.

The report concentrates on the period often referred to as the time of the Maori renaissance, 1975 to the present. This was a period of significant cultural, social and economic development.
The report includes chapters on:

  • explorations of whanau
  • a demographic and statistical profile of whanau from 1975 to the present
  • research design, methods and issues
  • whanau as custodians of culture: the Winitana whanau and the story of Ahorangi Genesis
  • whanau as kaitiaki of the environment: the Maranga Waitaha project
  • the role and status of Maori language and knowledge in economic transformation: case studies of Boy, Kia Kaha, Kaitaia Fire and Raukuri
  • Maori women as advocates of whanau development: interviews with Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi, Dr Rose Pere, Areta Koopu, Barbara Greer, Moe Milne, Naida Glavish, Dr Katerina Mataira, Dr Paparangi Reid, Mereana Pitman, Dr Khyla Russell and Ngaropi Cameron.


In the concluding chapter the findings of the research are analysed in the context of the changing role of the Families Commission. The question ‘what is Maori about whanau?’ is explored in the socio-political context of Aotearoa’s journey towards nationhood. An analysis of Maori development during the Maori renaissance is presented which identifies critical success factors for whanau development and whanau ora. Matemateone, a profound driver of Maori development, provides the concluding exploration of matauranga Maori in this report. This concept helps to understand the connection that whanau have with the past, their engagement in the present and the hope created amongst them about the future and planning for it.


read and download full report from here.