E tūtaki ana ngā kapua o te rangi, kei runga, kei runga te Mangoroa e kōpae pū ana || The clouds in the sky close over, but above them spreads the milky way





Some of the typical values include:

  • Respect for person and property.
  • A desire for neatness and order.
  • Valuing a balance between hard work and leisure.
  • High value on sport.
  • Being on time, and valuing routine.
  • Controlling emotions, can have trouble revealing feelings.
  • Not interfering in other peoples lives.
  • Children need to be ‘controlled/managed/quiet’.
  • Independence, managing to do things on our own.
  • Mothers have high expectations on themselves as mothers and also on their babies. They often expect the “perfect” baby.

While some of these values can be positive they can also work against women. For example if “cleanliness is next to godliness” then it will be hard for Pakeha/Europeans to relax at home unless the home is spotless.

The pressure of these messages from society can be particularly hard for someone who is depressed. Pakeha/European society encourages “perfectionism”. Mothers who become depressed can have high expectations of being the “perfect mother” and experience a huge sense of failure when the reality is quite different. These women can find it more difficult to acknowledge and disclose their feelings.

Often the pressure comes from within a person as much as from others because Pakeha/Europeans have lived with these expectations all their life. They can find it hard to admit their needs and expect to “be able to cope”.

My house was a mess and I thought that if I felt in control of my housework then I would feel in control of everything else. Now I realise that it isn’t really important to have a clean and tidy house.


Over the past generation it has become much more culturally acceptable to breast feed in public and to recognise the needs of children in a variety of settings eg toys in waiting rooms. A greater expectation for men to be involved with their children has also developed.