Te hohounga: Mai i te tirohanga Māori The process of reconciliation: Towards a Māori view


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The aim of this report is to gather knowledge and understandings that can contribute towards a Māori view of conduct problems. It is envisaged that gathering this knowledge and evidence will help ensure that Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems receive the most effective and culturally enhancing interventions possible.

Indigenous knowledge

Indigenous knowledge includes both traditional and contemporary knowledge and experiences. Examples of indigenous knowledge include waiata, whakatauki, te reo, pūrākau and cultural processes such as powhiri and mihimihi.
Indigenous knowledge in action will be instrumental in the implementation, development and evaluation of Kaupapa Māori programmes.
Indigenous knowledge in action will enhance Māori cultural responsiveness in a generic programme if included and maintained in a meaningful manner. Key elements defining ‘meaningful manner’ include delivery by Māori, with programme elements that reflect and reinforce Māori identity and in settings that enhance Māori participation.
Körero pūrākau provide pointers towards a Māori view of conduct problems, highlighting two main areas of importance:

      • whānau

      • separation – how can the degree of separation be reduced for Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems?

Whānau ora

The importance of whānau and whānau ora is reflected in pūrākau, Māori culture and in contemporary society through health strategies, recommendations by TRK, Kaupapa Māori services and other generic organisations working with Māori. Whānau ora is an essential component of a Māori view of conduct problems.
To facilitate whānau ora, the position of a whānau therapist/ advocate working primarily with whānau to enhance engagement, identity and connections has been advocated by Durie (2005) and supported by TRK. Further discussion is needed about where such a position would be situated and the skills and training required. It is likely that such a position would require dual cultural and clinical skills, as well as knowledge of how the sectors are interrelated in working with a Māori tamaiti, taiohi and their whānau.

Mai i te tirohanga: Towards a Māori view

Mai i te tirohanga: Towards a Māori view is a Māori model conceptualising conduct problems, developed by TRK on 9 June 2009. At its centre is whānau ora, which is influenced by:

      • sociological factors (housing, employment, income, incarceration, health, education, identity and connection)

      • the political context (power, funding, legislation, political will and institutionalism)

      • the ability of Kaupapa Māori services and sectors (education, health, social development and justice) to enhance identity and connections.

TRK strongly advocated for the macro issues facing Māori whānau (health, housing, education, welfare, justice and employment) to be addressed in order to ensure the success of interventions at the micro level.

Te Whare Tapa Wha

Te Whare Tapa Wha (Durie, 1985) is a Māori model of wellbeing that has been utilised in Kaupapa Māori and generic services and sectors. It is a holistic framework with the potential to be used in both Kaupapa Māori and generic programmes addressing conduct problems for Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau.

Te Whare Tapa Wha will also be a useful model for generic programmes to use in ensuring cultural responsiveness to Māori.
Identity and connections

The overall aim of effective interventions with Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems is to achieve whānau ora, in addition to enhancing identity and connections.

Facilitating access to a secure identity and strong connections is regarded as imperative in a Te Ao Māori view of conduct problem interventions.
Specific Māori protocols and concepts relevant to enhancing identity and connections include: powhiri, ahu whenua, karakia, te reo, mihimihi, whakawhanaunga, manaaki, aro matawai, ohaoha and aroha.
Cultural competency

Cultural competency training and cultural supervision is required to increase awareness, knowledge and skills for Māori and non-Māori practitioners working in the area of conduct problems.

Cultural competencies relevant to practitioners working with Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems could include awareness, knowledge and skills in:

      • enhancing Māori identity

      • facilitating whakawhanaungatanga

      • using Māori models of wellbeing.

Programme development

The further development of Kaupapa Māori programmes and cultural responsiveness of generic service providers needs to ensure that programmes:

      • take an integrated and holistic approach

      • involve Māori in programme design and delivery

      • provide information on participation and outcomes from a Māori perspective.

A review is urgently required to identify what programmes exist in the community relevant to Māori and whānau ora that could form a basis for the development of a Kaupapa conduct problem programme – and enhance generic conduct problem programmes.

From a kaupapa perspective this may include the enhancement of existing Kaupapa Māori programmes. Such a review needs to be driven by Māori and based on Māori perspectives and outcomes. Examples of Kaupapa Māori programmes within the community having a positive effect on and enhancing whānau ora include Te Atawhainga Te Harakeke, Te Kawa o te Marae and the programmes at Tanewhakapiripiri ( Mason Clinic). The kaitakewaenga position in GSE is an example of a bicultural initiative that has the intent of influencing engagement and identity, in line with the whānau therapist/ advocate role.
Concerns have been expressed about the implementation of generic programmes without robust evidence of efficacy for Māori. Māori facilitators of generic parenting programmes such as IYBPP and TIPS identified the importance of engagement of whānau and ongoing whanaungatanga. In addition, most analysis does not capture Te Ao Māori perspectives of outcomes. The use of the Hua Oranga tool developed by Kingi and Durie (2000) could assist assessment of wider outcomes for a generic conduct problem programme and help establish a framework to assess any developed Kaupapa Māori conduct problem programmes.
Cultural supports for Māori whānau beyond programme delivery include promoting the teina/ tuakana system among group members and ensuring a relationship has been established with turangawaewae.

At a policy level, the enhancement of identity and connections can be assured by:

      • investment in implementing and/or developing Kaupapa Māori

      • programmes based on indigenous knowledge and best practice evidence from a Māori perspective

      • meaningful consultation about generic programmes including inspection of programme content and adaptations as recommended

      • equity of funding for Kaupapa Māori programmes.

Indigenous knowledge and experiences need to be recognised as a valid contribution to the development, analysis and critique of conduct problem programmes for Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau. Indigenous and Western-based knowledge has the potential to help identify what works best with Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems.

Kaupapa Māori programmes

Currently there are no dedicated Kaupapa Māori conduct problem programmes designed by Māori for Māori. Nor does there appear to be literature or research pertaining to indigenous programmes for conduct problems.

Given the overwhelming over-representation of Māori appearing before youth courts, this indicates a crisis, and a failure of the programmes currently funded to prevent and treat conduct problems at the severe level. The lack of information and existence of robust, culturally responsive services for conduct problems contributes to the failure of Māori. Kaupapa Māori programmes must be invested in and implemented in order to comprehensively determine the cultural elements that modify conduct disorder symptoms and enhance whānau ora.
A Kaupapa Māori programme can be viewed as by Māori for Māori using Māori cultural perspectives. In addition a Kaupapa Māori programme:

    • is lead by Māori

    • gives full recognition to Māori cultural values and systems

    • is a strategic position that challenges dominant Pākehā (non-Māori) constructions of programme design

    • determines the assumptions, values, key ideas and priorities of programmes

    • ensures that Māori maintain conceptual, methodological and interpretative control over programme development

    • is a philosophy that guides Māori programmes and ensures that Māori protocols will be followed during programme implementation and evaluation (based on Walker et al, 2006:333).

The desire and right by Māori to know what works best so that the best Kaupapa Māori programmes can be designed, implemented and evaluated will require a major investment in terms of funding and workforce development issues.

Generic programmes

Based on the TRK recommendations and previous research, the adaptation of generic programmes to be culturally responsive to Māori is required. This is not without problems. On the one hand generic programmes, having been developed within other cultural worldviews and languages, use meanings derived from those cultural paradigms, which do not necessarily align with a Māori world view. On the other hand Māori have the right to choose and participate in programmes that may be helpful, no matter where they originate, if they have been shown to be effective for other ethnicities including Māori, particularly when there are very few such programmes, if any, available to Māori whānau (H. Elder, email communication, 2009).

Ensuring generic programmes are responsive to Māori prioritises cultural competence in the delivery and content of programmes for Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau attending such programmes and is likely to enhance their efficacy for Māori.
A review of generic programmes relevant to conduct problems and Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau involved needs to be conducted. This will provide a comparison for Kaupapa Māori programmes. Meaningful consultation, discussion of content and efficacy issues for Māori can then occur.
Culturally responsive strategies for generic programmes may include:

      • Māori leadership at a governance level

      • major consultation of the content of programme

      • subsequent implementation of culture-specific topics

      • the need for a holistic approach such as Te Whare Tapa Wha

      • a focus on whānau ora

      • incorporation of Māori processes and values, such as powhiri and aroha, into programme content

      • the use of a whānau liaison worker/ advocate/ therapist

      • a Māori facilitator

      • the programme being delivered in an environment that helps to enhance identity and connections such as marae or turangawaewae.

Evaluation of whānau ora

Hua Oranga (Kingi & Durie, 2000) is a Māori mental health outcomes measure that has the potential to be used in both generic and Kaupapa Māori conduct problem programmes.

Practice-based evidence and utilisation of the KORS (Drury, 2007) may be an initiative that Kaupapa Māori programmes want to consider in developing outcomes data from a Māori perspective.
In order to evaluate whānau ora outcomes, further clarification is required regarding indicators of whānau ora. Further research is needed, identifying whānau ora outcome measures that capture information relating to housing, employment, incarceration, health, education, identity, connection, involvement of Kaupapa Māori services and other sector involvement.

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