Reconstructing Meanings Of Family: Lesbian/ Whanau And Families In Aotearoa

Te Wharepora Hou

Dr Leonie Pihama

In 1998 I wrote a Chapter for a publication on Families in New Zealand. The focus was to both deconstruct and reconstruct notions of whanau and to clearly articulate the place of gay and lesbian whanau within Maori society. The current debate related to Marriage Equality again raises the issues of how whanau is constituted within Aotearoa in a contemporary context. This blog is a  partial reprint of that article. Where some content may be dated, for example the Christian Heritage Party mentioned could now be replaced with Destiny Church, however the fundamental position remains that whanau are diverse and as such all whanau must be validated and affirmed within our contemporary context. Colonial views on what constitutes whanau has no place in radical Maori discourse. There is no room for those that purport to seek justice for the ‘vulnerable’ to then continue injustice by hiding behind…

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