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Other factors related to connection with ancestral marae

Tirohia tēnei whārangi i te reo Māori

This chapter looks at which social, economic, and demographic measures are associated with Māori connecting to ancestral marae.

Results from Te Kupenga showed:

  • social and economic factors have a small relationship with marae connection
  • age is related to visiting ancestral marae
  • Māori with children more likely to visit ancestral marae
  • Māori with larger whānau go to ancestral marae more often.

Social and economic factors have a small relationship with marae connection

Analysis showed that many social and economic measures don’t make a large impact on Māori connecting to their ancestral marae.

Those that made some difference were age, income, family type, and whānau size.

Measures that showed little difference were sex, labour force status, and urban or rural living.

Age is related to visiting ancestral marae

Of all the demographic measures, age showed the greatest differences in ancestral marae connection. The likelihood of having visited one’s ancestral marae, having done so in the last 12 months, and having visited frequently in that time generally increased with age.

This may be because older Māori are more culturally connected than younger Māori. Older Māori are more likely to have te reo as their first language, to speak te reo very well or well, to know their tribal identity, and to be connected to their ancestral marae as their tūrangawaewae – all factors associated with increased likelihood of visiting ancestral marae.

See Te Kupenga 2013 for more details.

Older Māori most likely to have been to ancestral marae

Just over half (52 percent) of 15–24-year olds had ever been to their ancestral marae and 28 percent had done so in the last 12 months. In comparison, 71 percent of Māori aged 55 years or older had ever been to their ancestral marae and 38 percent had been in the last 12 months.

Older Māori were also more likely to have been to their ancestral marae more frequently in the last 12 months than younger Māori. Of those aged 55 years or older, 45 percent had been to their ancestral marae six or more times in the past 12 months, compared with 23 percent of 15–24-year-olds.

Figure 4

Graph, Ever been to ancestral marae, by age group, June to August 2013.  

However, older Māori (55 years or older) were the least likely to have wanted to go to their ancestral marae more in the previous 12 months – half wanted to go more and half didn’t. This is not surprising given their greater involvement with their ancestral marae.

Māori aged 35–44 were the most likely to have wanted to go more often, with around two-thirds (65 percent) reporting they wanted to do so. 

More young faces on the marae

Māori aged 15–24 were the least likely to have visited their ancestral marae. However, because they make up a greater proportion of the Māori population than older age groups, more of them visit their ancestral marae. Of the 324,000 people who had ever visited their ancestral marae 75,000 or 23 percent were aged 15–24 years. In comparison Māori aged 55 years or older made up 21 percent (69,000 people) of those who had ever visited their ancestral marae.

Māori with children more likely to visit ancestral marae

Being in a family with children is associated with increased levels of connecting to ancestral marae.

Of couples with no children, 60 percent had been to any of their ancestral at some time in their lives, compared with 65 percent of one-parent families.

Families with children were also more likely to have been to their ancestral marae in the last 12 months than those without children. Of couples with no children, 28 percent had been to their ancestral marae in the last 12 months, compared with 34 percent of couples with children, and 37 percent of one-parent families.

One-parent families are more likely to want to go to their ancestral marae more often. Results showed 62 percent wanted to do so compared with 57 percent of couples with no children.

Māori with larger whānau go to ancestral marae more often

In Te Kupenga, whānau is a self-defined concept. It may include whakapapa whānau and/or friends and others.

The larger the size of a person’s whānau, the more likely they are to have been to their ancestral marae. The proportion of those that had ever been to their ancestral marae was 54 percent for those with a whānau of five or fewer members. This compared with 85 percent for those with a whānau of 51 people or more.

Just over a quarter (27 percent) of Māori with a whānau of five people or fewer had been to their ancestral marae in the last 12 months, compared with over half (55 percent) of those with whānau between 21 and 50 who had done so.

Figure 5

Graph, Visits to ancestral marae in the last 12 months, by whanau size, June to August 2013.  

One-quarter of Māori whose whānau numbered five or fewer people had been to their ancestral marae six or more times in the last 12 months. This compared with 40 percent of Māori with whānau of 51 people or more.

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