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Five minutes with: a Kaupapa Māori researcher

In the fifth of a series of interviews with young and mid-career researchers, Eloise Gibson talks to Jade Le Grice about love, and how her frustration with academic portrayals of Māori led her to search for more nuanced stories.

When Jade Le Grice asks people what they got from their whānau that they want to pass on, the thread running through their answers is love.

Le Grice became a researcher and lecturer at Auckland University’s psychology school after getting frustrated with portrayals of Māori in academia, which focussed on what was missing from their lives and ignored the positive aspects.

She’s especially interested in how Māori people make decisions about sex and child-bearing - and she’s well aware that, even in 2018, many Pākehā have views on when and whether Māori should have kids, and how many.

Rather than viewing children as something to place far down a life goal checklist, many Māori she interviewed felt that having children was an act of love, defence of their culture and even resistance.

Now, Le Grice is interviewing Māori from her own hapū in the Hokianga, among others, to learn what proven techniques they can offer to help prevent sexual violence in the wake of #metoo.

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