Marsden funding secured for Whānau Ora project

By Regan Paranihi

Dr Aroha Harris of the University of Auckland and Dr Melissa Williams, an independent researcher and university alumni, have won $622,000 in Marsden funding for their project, which looks at Māori whānau and the struggle for whānau well-being across the twentieth century.

The pair say, “National histories identify twentieth century Māori poverty, abuse, and tribal breakdown as the outcomes of colonisation.  Throughout the twentieth century, Māori families experienced high levels of state intervention, disempowerment, and estrangement.”

Williams and Harris will work closely with their team to discover how Māori held onto their objectives for whānau ora while engaging with and against the welfare state in the twentieth century.

“The project engages with ongoing contemporary concerns around poverty, incarceration, health and family well-being.  We expect to uncover positive models of Māori community resourcefulness, resilience, and innovation under the socio-economic pressures of the modern century.”