Multitudes of Māori have become disenfranchised from their Māoritanga, from their whakapapa and from their tribal lands due to urbanisation. The number of urban Māori who live away from their papa kāinga continues to increase, which contributes to the growing number of people who have limited knowledge of whakapapa. This has contributed to the establishment of urban groups for Māori in major urban centres.
The importance of whakapapa is examined as too are the concepts ahikā and rāwaho to show the need of a continuing relationship between the two, the importance of that relationship to be maintained and the importance of acquiring knowledge of whakapapa to inform one’s identity. The main purpose of this thesis is to determine whether whakapapa is still an important facet of Māori culture to urban Māori today and to determine if the lack of whakapapa knowledge has a direct impact on an urban Māori identity.