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Published 3 March 2023

Korihi te manu: Stories of whāngai and adoption

"We have a saying back home, kāore te tōtara e tū mokemoke ai – the tōtara never stands alone. Like all pepeha, it isn't a statement about a tree, it's that people should never be alone." - Moana Jackson

Whāngai is a tikanga developed over hundreds of years to grow strong, connected and safe whānau. Adoption is a much newer practice invented to solve two problems – caring for children whose parents can't raise them, and finding children for adults who want to be parents. Many thousands of Māori children have grown up whāngai or adopted but their experiences are mostly untold.

The stories in this collection are deeply personal and span almost a century.  Contributors are whāngai and adopted people, their parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, and wider whānau.  They tell of the importance of connections, love, acceptance, of knowing your story and the story of your whānau.


Additional information: Publisher - Te Wānanga o Raukawa


Dr Helen Potter, Dr Marine Haenga-Collins, Ani Mikaere, Dr Annabelle Ahuriri-Driscoll, Dr Denise Blake, Dr Jessica Hutchings, Dr Kim McBreen, Jenni Tupo, Moana Jackson


Te Wānanga o Raukawa


Marsden Fund


TWR1701: Whangai and the adoption of Maori: healing the past, transforming the future