This PhD. thesis examines links between Māori deficit statistics, Māori experiences of historical intergenerational trauma or HIT, and colonisation. The thesis draws upon Western critical theory combined with Indigenous methodologies that employ Māori epistemologies or ways of knowing to make sense of historical discourses that have traditionally impeded Māori wellbeing and development. Indigenous methodologies such as Pūrākau theory are employed in this thesis to peel back layers of narratives that are sometimes intergenerational, to expose contributing factors to Māori deficit statistics. These theories interpret underlying themes and key factors in HIT. In essence the study examines Māori experiences; Māori concepts and oral traditions relevant to HIT. Essentially four research questions are posed. "What are Māori experiences of historical intergenerational trauma?" "What were the political, socio- economic implications for Māori both pre and post signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi?" "What significance does locating self in this research have in terms of contextualising Māori experiences of historical intergenerational trauma?" And finally "What are Māori strategies that respond to this phenomenon?"
These research questions frame the thesis from a position that distinguishes Māori experiences of this phenomenon, from the distinctive lived experiences of other Indigenous cultures across the globe. The research questions also investigate the political, socio- economic environment both pre and post Te Tiriti o Waitangi. This gives a macro view that draws attention to Māori success in international trade and economic development pre Treaty [Te Tiriti o Waitangi]. The thesis then examines how Māori became subjugated to intergenerational positions of impoverishment, and displacement through war, and legislative policies of the New Zealand Settler Government who coveted Māori land, assets, raw materials and resources post Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Locating self in research offers a micro view contextualising how historical events may impact at a personal level. It also draws attention to how those impacts have the potential for manifesting deficit outcomes. The final frame is solution focused, and draws attention to strategies that respond to Māori experiences of historical intergenerational trauma.