A relationship of trust between students and Pouako (tutor), built A relationship of trust between students and tutors, built through whakawhanaungatanga (relationship building), lays the foundation for the exploration of a whakapapa approach (te whakapapa o te reo i roto i te whānau) within a Te Ataarangi Māori language learning setting. The approach is built on the creative foundations engendered within the Te Ataarangi environment and has been widened to be an effective tool for exploring the status of the Māori language and a range of social conditions that affect the Māori population. Examined from an insider perspective of a Māori worldview the approach has a pedigree in genealogy, language and Māori social customs and protocols. The approach was pre-tested among Māori whānau (extended family) from a range of social circumstances. Their testimonies bear witness to the effectiveness of whakapapa as a healing and celebratory approach, a tool to reconstitute whānau and a valid research methodology amongst Māori.

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