Work life balance: a Maori women's perspective
Harris, Ngaire Te Aroha
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Spending time at work, with family/whanau, and communities takes up a large proportion of Maori women's lives. Finding a balance can often be complex and challenging, due to surrounding environmental influences that are continually changing. This thesis explores those challenges, and considers whether 'being Maori' affects the way they manage their lives around the dimensions of work family/whanau and community.The study interviewed Maori women over 20 years of age, in paid work, and who were active members in two urban Maori communities of Auckland, namely Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust and Manukau Urban Maori Authority.It was anticipated that information gleaned could be used to consider positive strategies to facilitate the better management of their time given the constraints imposed on them by modern existence without compromising their cultural obligations as Maori actively involved in their communities.Overall, it was found that being Maori does have an affect on how the women manage their lives around work, family/whanau, and community. A number of factors are identified that help balance work and everyday life including whanau and community support as well as individual strategies and personal assistance. For example, flexible employers that valued Maori beliefs and culture helped reinforce and facilitate the achievement of this balance. Similarly, quality childcare was invaluable. Further research is suggested as to how Maori women balance competing priorities from community and whanau demands.