Advertisement

Transformative Maternities: Indigenous Stories as Resistance and Reclamation in Aotearoa New Zealand

  • Naomi SimmondsEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 30)

Abstract

This chapter seeks to illustrate the transformative potential of local Indigenous knowledges pertaining to birth and mothering. In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori (Indigenous peoples of New Zealand) stories, knowledges and traditions can serve to reconceptualise dominant maternities and ultimately transform the lived realities of women, their babies and their families. There are powerful and potent ways to reconceptualise maternities within Māori knowledge, particularly through understandings of land, language and spirituality. It is argued that the expression of our experiences as Māori women from a perspective that upholds the mana (power and prestige) and sanctity of birth and of mothering is a powerful act of resistance and decolonisation. Further, reclaiming Māori maternal knowledges has the power to transform the lived experiences of birth by (re)asserting the self-determination of women, of their babies and of their whānau (family) and, thus, the self-determination of Māori communities.

Keywords

Indigenous maternities Māori birthing Decolonisation New Zealand 

References

  1. Adichie, C. (2009). The dangers of a single story. http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story.html. Accessed 21 Feb 2014.
  2. Anderson, K. (2006). New life stirring: Mothering, transformation and Aboriginal womanhood. In J. Lavell-Harvard & M. Corbiere-Lavell (Eds.), Until our hearts are on the ground: Aboriginal mothering, oppression, resistance and rebirth (pp. 13–24). Toronto: Demeter Press.Google Scholar
  3. Anderson, K. (2007). Giving life to the people: An indigenous ideology of motherhood. In A. O’Reilly (Ed.), Maternal theory: Essential readings (pp. 761–781). Toronto: Demeter Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bedard, R. (2006). An Anishinaabe-kwe ideology on mothering and motherhood. In J. Lavell-Harvard & M. Corbiere-Lavell (Eds.), Until our hearts are on the ground: Aboriginal mothering, oppression, resistance and rebirth (pp. 65–75). Toronto: Demeter Press.Google Scholar
  5. Coney, S. (1993). Unfinished business: What happened to the Cartwright Report? Auckland: Women’s Health Action.Google Scholar
  6. de Joux, R. (1998). Mātauranga Hapūtanga – Antenatal services for Māori women. Auckland: Whakawhetu, National SIDS Prevention for Māori, University of Auckland.Google Scholar
  7. Donley, J. (1986). Birthrites: Natural vs. unnatural childbirth in New Zealand. Auckland: New Women’s Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dunsford, C. (2013). White Lies – Tuakiri Huna: The price of colonisation and betrayal in bleaching our hearts, minds and souls. http://www.whiteliesthemovie.com/2013/08/white-lies-book-film-review-asia-pacific-review-white-lies-tuakiri-huna-the-price-of-colonisation-and-betrayal-in-bleaching-our-hearts-minds-and-souls/. Accessed 30 Sept 2013.
  9. Gabel, K. (2013). Poipoia te Tamaiti ki te Ūkaipō. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Waikato.Google Scholar
  10. Gatrell, C. (2008). Embodying women’s work. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Grace, P. (1992). Cousins. Auckland: Penguin.Google Scholar
  12. Gunn-Allen, P. (1992). The sacred hoop: Recovering the feminine in American Indian tradition. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hooks, B. (2007). Homeplace: A site of resistance. In A. O’Reilly (Ed.), Maternal theory: Essential readings (pp. 266–273). Toronto: Demeter Press.Google Scholar
  14. Hutchings, J. (2002). Te Whakaruruhau, te Ūkaipō: Mana wahine and genetic modification. Unpublished PhD thesis, Victoria University.Google Scholar
  15. Hutchings, J. (2012). The hetero-patriarchy and the corruption of Tikanga. In J. Hutchings & A. Mikaere (Eds.), Kei tua te pae hui proceedings: Changing worlds, changing tikanga – educating history and the future (pp. 31–35). Wellington: New Zealand Council for Education Research.Google Scholar
  16. Ihimaera, W. (2013). White lies. Wellington: Random House.Google Scholar
  17. Kahukiwa, R., & Potiki, P. (1999). Oriori: A Māori child is born- from conception to birth. Auckland: Tandem Press.Google Scholar
  18. Kenney, C. (2009). Me Aro ki te Hā o Hineahuone: Women, miscarriage stories, and midwifery: Towards a contextually relevant research methodology. Unpublished PhD thesis, Massey University.Google Scholar
  19. Kenney, C. (2011). Midwives, women and their families: A Māori gaze regarding partnerships for maternity care in Aotearoa, New Zealand. AlterNative, 7(2), 123–137.Google Scholar
  20. Mikaere, A. (2003). The balance destroyed: Consequences for Māori women of the colonisation of tikanga Māori. Auckland: The International Research Institute for Māori and Indigenous Education.Google Scholar
  21. Mikaere, A. (2011). Colonising myths- Māori realities: He rukuruku whakaarā. Wellington: Huia Publishers and Te Wānanga o Raukawa.Google Scholar
  22. Ministry of Health. (2012). Report on maternity 2010. Wellington: Ministry of Health.Google Scholar
  23. Murphy, N. (2011). Te Awa Atua, Te Awa Tapu, Te Awa Wahine: An examination of stories, ceremonies and practices regarding menstruation in the pre-colonial Māori world. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, University of Waikato.Google Scholar
  24. New Zealand Home Birth Association. (n.d.). Statistics. http://homebirth.org.nz/why-home-birth/. Accessed 01 Oct 2014.
  25. Ngā Maia National Collective of Māori Midwives. (n.d.). Tūranga Kaupapa. http://www.midwife.org.nz/quality-practice/standards-of-practice. Accessed 01 Oct 2014.
  26. Palmer, S. (2002). Hei Oranga Mo Ngā Wāhine Hapū (o Hauraki) i roto i te whare ora. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Waikato.Google Scholar
  27. Pihama, L. (2001). Tihei Mauri Ora Honouring our voices: Mana wahine as a kaupapa Māori theoretical framework. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Auckland.Google Scholar
  28. Ramsden, I. (1998). An existence in history. In W. Ihimaera (Ed.), Growing up Māori (pp. 197–201). Wellington: Tandem Press.Google Scholar
  29. Rimene, C., Hassan, C., & Broughton, J. (1998). Ūkaipō the place of nurturing: Māori women and childbirth. Dunedin: University of Otago.Google Scholar
  30. Ryan, P. M. (1994). Dictionary of modern Māori. New Zealand: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  31. Simmonds, N. (2014). Tū te turuturu nō Hine-te-iwaiwa: Mana wahine geographies of birth in Aotearoa New Zealand. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Waikato.Google Scholar
  32. Simpson, L. (2006). Birthing an indigenous resurgence: Decolonizing our pregnancy and birthing ceremonies. In J. Lavell-Harvard & M. Corbiere-Lavell (Eds.), Until our hearts are on the ground: Aboriginal mothering, oppression, resistance and rebirth (pp. 25–33). Toronto: Demeter Press.Google Scholar
  33. Smith, A. (2005). Conquest: Sexual violence and American Indian genocide. Cambridge: South End Press.Google Scholar
  34. Smith, L. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  35. Williams, H. W. (1971). A dictionary of the Māori language. Wellington: GP Publications.Google Scholar
  36. Yates-Smith, A. (1998). Hine! E Hine! Rediscovering the feminine in Māori spirituality. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Waikato.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations