The current role of marae in maintaining and building a positive hapū identity in post-treaty settlement Aotearoa New Zealand.

The current role of marae in maintaining and building a positive hapū identity in post-treaty settlement Aotearoa New Zealand explores the relevance of marae as symbols of Māori cultural expression in the 21st Century. Are marae relevant and pertinent in the modern era? Today Māori Hui are being conducted in office spaces, workplaces and many other areas, and tangihanga (funerals) are being held in private homes. Pohiri are becoming common place in areas other than on marae. Do marae need to exist given that Māori Hui can be held at any location and venue? This thesis attempts to answer these questions by investigating three key areas. Firstly, it will look into the origins and definitions of marae, after which its purpose and relevance are discussed. Secondly it will examine any changes in communal engagement over time by looking at an overview of marae usage from 1980 to 2010. Lastly, it seeks to engage with those hapū who have settled their Treaty grievances with the Crown, and considers the position of hapū in terms of its tikanga Māori practices on marae. This research is primarily qualitative, guided by Kaupapa Māori methodology, although aspects of quantitative research will be used to determine the current use of marae by hapū.

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