Tū ake ngā uri o Muriwai: Understanding Key Factors that Lead to the Success of Rangatahi Māori from Ōpōtiki
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Ōpōtiki is a small rural town in the Eastern Bay of Plenty with a large Māori population. The town also has one of the largest youth populations, by percentage, in New Zealand. The aim of this research was to look at the rural community of Ōpōtiki and to understand the significant factors behind the success of rangatahi Māori (Māori youth) from this particular community. This research provides knowledge that will inform the whole community about nurturing these unique success factors so that they can contribute to a greater success rate of rangatahi within the community. The research is presented in two parts: a written component and an artefact - a 30-minute documentary about rangatahi Māori who grew up in Ōpōtiki. The written section of this thesis answers the question: “What factors lead to the success of rangatahi Māori from Ōpōtiki?” It also explores te ao Māori (the Māori world-view) in relation to the methodology. Finally, it provides an in-depth analysis of the documentary findings relating to the research question. The documentary (artefact) involved a select number of participants from various backgrounds - teachers, youth workers, and wider community members - in one-onone interviews. These were then compiled and edited to develop the documentary. The interview questions were designed to examine the variables that contributed to the achievements of rangatahi Māori from Ōpōtiki, and the visual component provides an insight into their lives and what they, themselves, believe has made them successful. This thesis critically examines the success factors in the lives of rangatahi Māori who have been acknowledged as high achievers in their respective fields.