Perspectives on being Pākehā

Unpacking the biggest lie ever told: The conversion of cultural disorientation into action

Annie Joass

I have had to be brutally honest about what I was raised with, both the good and the bad because it’s not until we understand where our racism begins can we start to unpick it, and it’s a slow often painful process not unlike grief.

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Link published with permission of author.

A Pākehā journey towards bicultural practice through guilt, shame, identity and hope

Heidi Crawford

This article is a reflection of a Pākehā social worker, who shares her own personal journey through guilt and shame towards hope; hope that we can engage and journey in our bicultural practice to become a more compassionate, effective practitioner. As part of this reflection, the social worker shares her discovery of loss of identity as Pākehā and encourages other Pākehā to connect with who has gone before them in an attempt to understand self and understand others.

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Full article citation

Crawford, H. (2016). A Pākehā journey towards bicultural practice through guilt, shame, identity and hope. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 28(4), 80-88. doi:

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2 replies on “Perspectives on being Pākehā”

Great to see some Pakeha perspectives up on RSW. Very timely offering lights along the runway for others. Brilliant piece Annie Joass and an essential resource for many of our social work courses. Thank you to Heidi too.
Thank you also to Ian. I’ve been very encouraged with your last few pieces, accurately laying out the state of play for tangata whenua.
Looking forward to some equally brilliant tangata whenua perspectives.
Nga mihi nui.

Thank for this Ian, well researched as always!
It is a sad fact that NZ families face the juggernaut of Neo- Liberal dogma almost entirely as a result of a carefully crafted socially engineered campaign; which aims to seduce the collective psyche of sufficient proportions of the resident population, vulnerable because they are either wealthy enough, or if not, are gullible, or hard nosed enough to identify the less well off members of their family as “expendable”, and turn on them; rather than extend compassion and a helping hand, having well and truly digested the “tough love” mentality.
These campaigns are not new. Historically they have dissolved when too many of the population begins to hurt. The only difference between these times and the historic ones is the advent of applied technology to enforce a socially enforced obedience on a scale never before experienced. We only have to look back a couple of generations, even less to see how welfare policies of child rescue can degenerate into government sanctioned child trafficking…
Increasing numbers of adults who are survivors of the western culture’s child rescue style welfare systems child victims of 19th and 20th century are posting online in Facebook, You Tube, blogging and rallying together there for anyone to access the information. Their writing speaks for itself in tearful family reunions and tragic tales of abuse, neglect and disenfranchisement. One Id like to draw your attention to is this,
Behind The Walls part 1
FK1 The Freedom Channel
What is relevant to the situation we face here and now which this documentary explains is the political context in which these social conditions occurred. The mentality of the recent welfare reforms are crafted within the same mindset that the conditions described in the documentary occurred. Child rescue is usually practiced on poor families. Neo liberal politics tends to create a ‘survivalist’ social environment. The current welfare reforms, feeds rather than mitigates the corruption this environment creates. The doco is not that long and worth a watch. ( for a comparison to current reforms look at the list of “abuse indicators” which instigate a red flag for a family to be investigated. Poverty, and more important welfare receipt is still indicator for CYFS intervention.

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