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


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Te tapaepae o te rangi

See there, to the place

Where the sky reaches down
Strive to attain the utmost. Look to the furthest horizon. (trad.)

(Grace & Grace, 2004: 52)
The intent of this report was to gather information that would help ensure Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems receive the most effective and culturally enhancing interventions possible. The following recommendations are based on making sure this moemoea (aspiration) can come to fruition.
The meaning behind the title of this report, Te hononga: Mai te tirohanga Māori: The process of reconciliation: Towards a Māori view, reflects a number of issues:

  1. this report is seen as a beginning, a first step, in the process of developing a Māori view on conduct problems

  2. the process cannot end with this report

  3. the recommendations reflect the desire to achieve the best outcomes for Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems.

Indigenous knowledge

  1. It is recommended that indigenous knowledge and experiences in both traditional and contemporary understandings be considered as a valid evidence base.

  1. For indigenous knowledge to be effective, it will need to be included and maintained in a meaningful way, such as appropriate consultation and equity of funding.

  1. Indigenous knowledge has to be included in the implementation, development and evaluation of Kaupapa Māori programmes.

  1. Indigenous knowledge in action will be vital in enhancing generic programmes if included and maintained in a meaningful manner.

  1. Interventions with Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau exhibiting conduct problems need to come from a whānau ora focus. This will require a holistic approach to understanding, assessing and providing treatment or interventions.

  1. Facilitating access to a secure identity and strong connections is essential in providing interventions for Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems. It is recommended that programmes dealing with Māori and conduct problems are able to identify how their programmes assist in promoting identity and connections.

Whānau therapist/ advocate/ liaison worker

  1. It is recommended that the implementation of a whānau therapist/ advocate/ liaison worker, whose role is to engage with whānau and work collaboratively across all sectors, be considered.

  1. Given the complexity of issues whānau may present with, such a position will require core, specialised cultural and clinical skills. Workforce development issues related to upskilling, training and retaining Māori kaimahi (workers) into such a position need to be identified.

Cultural competency

  1. Training workshops for Māori and non-Māori workers focussed on enhancing identity and connections with Māori would benefit practitioners working in the area of conduct problems.

  1. Cultural supervision will be needed in increasing awareness, knowledge and skills for Māori and non-Māori practitioners.

Te Whare Tapa Wha

  1. Consideration needs to be given to using Te Whare Tapa Wha as a framework when assessing and providing interventions to Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems.

  1. Te Whare Tapa Wha will also be a useful model for generic programmes to consider using in ensuring cultural responsiveness to Māori

Kaupapa Māori programmes

  1. 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 of funding and workforce development issues.

  1. Given the dearth of dedicated Kaupapa Māori conduct programmes available to Māori, urgent investment is required to further develop, implement and/or modify Kaupapa Māori initiatives for conduct problems.

  1. Careful consideration needs to be made about the most effective use of resources. It is recommended that TRK consider developing a plan of what is required for the further development, implementation and evaluation of Kaupapa Māori programmes. This plan needs to consider funding and timelines.

    1. As a first step, it is recommended a stocktake be taken of Kaupapa Māori initiatives relevant to conduct problems.

    1. Following this, programmes of interest can be further reviewed to identify success factors, and recommendations made about what is required for the best, most effective and culturally enhancing Kaupapa Māori programmes for Māori.

    1. There needs to be a degree of urgency about the stocktake and review, given no specific programmes are available from a Kaupapa Māori perspective. Barriers to the success of programmes, such as funding, will also need to be identified.

    1. This stocktake and review needs to be completed by Māori and not defined by the wider group.

  1. It will be important that information pertaining to a stocktake of services is shared with the community and those people working at the clinical and cultural level. It is important that practitioners are aware of the programmes available for Māori from Kaupapa Māori, bicultural and generic perspectives.


  1. It is recommended that a review of generic conduct problem programmes be conducted to identify the cultural responsiveness of programmes to Māori. In line with overseas research this would include an inspection of programme content and processes as well as strategies used to enhance identity and connections among Māori participants.

  1. It is further recommended that information be obtained about the funding generic programmes receive, to provide a comparison and ensure funding equity with Kaupapa Māori programmes.


  1. Investment is needed to assist Māori-focussed programmes in place to gather and provide outcomes data.

  1. Measures such as Hua Oranga may be of use; however, investment is needed to ensure appropriate adaptation and implementation.

  1. The issue of evaluating and identifying whānau ora indicators warrants further discussion and collection of information.

Limitations of report

The scope of this report was very large and involved the consideration of two major areas: the development of Kaupapa Māori initiatives and generic programme responsiveness. MSD outlined specific areas they wanted addressed, which corresponded with increasing knowledge and understanding for generic programmes. The writer acknowledges that, as a result, full consideration and time was not made for Kaupapa Māori initiatives.

  1. It is therefore recommended that, in the next stage of development, a discussion document based on the recommendations put forward under Kaupapa Māori programmes be produced with Kaupapa Māori as its only focus.

The second limitation of this report is in relation to the very tight timeframe in which it was conducted. This may have impacted on the ability to obtain meaningful feedback and consultation with members of TRK.

  1. It is recommended that if further reports are to be commissioned for MSD, TRK have the opportunity to meet and discuss report progress on more than one occasion, and that an adequate amount of time be given to provide feedback.

Concluding comment

Ka rere te hue mataati

The first shoot of the gourd stretches out
when an action is started it should be followed through until a result is produced. (Mead and Grove, 2002: 182)
This whakatauki is presented last and represents a request. This report has begun the contribution towards a Māori view of conduct problems. Now practical action is required, such as investment of money, time and resources to investigate and implement programmes that will improve whānau ora, identity and connections for Māori tamariki, taiohi and whānau experiencing conduct problems.
He mihi mahana ki Te Roopu Kaitiaki (Mere Berryman, Wayne Blisset, Brian Coffey, Hinemoa Elder, Angus Macfarlane, Materoa Mar, Moe Milne and Peta Ruha) me, MSD (aka Robbie Lane) mo o koutou whakaaro, o koutou tautoko, o koutou ihi ki tenei kaupapa.
He ao te rangi ka uhia

Ma te huruhuru te manu, Ka rere

Like clouds adorn the sky

So birds need feathers to fly

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