This Families Commission report looked at a social environment in which families have priority and can flourish, enabling more families to achieve the successful outcomes they aspire to.
Discussions about parenting often cast single mothers in a negative light. They are viewed as creating an environment that is not conducive to raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted children who go on to achieve well in life and contribute fully in society (Edin & Lein, 1997; Reekie, 1998). Their circumstances are pathologised, and they are understood in terms of a deficit model. In New Zealand this is very much the case for young single mothers (Pittaway, 2005) and Mäori or Pacific Island single mothers (Todd, 2008).
This research project looked beyond this negative approach to single motherhood and explored some of the positive parenting experiences of Pacific Island single mothers and the importance of culture in framing these experiences.
This report was produced for the Families Commission Blue Skies Fund by Dr Rochelle Stewart-Withers and Professor Regina Scheyvens of the Massey University Institute of Development Studies, and Professor Tagaloatele Peggy Fairburn-Dunlop of the Auckland University of Technology Institute of Public Policy for the Families Commission Blue Skies Fund.