​What works for Māori audiences

​Kaupapa Māori primary prevention activities focus on the wider context of upholding and promoting mana, and the crucial role that whānau play in this.

Why Māori audiences are unique

Māori experience disproportionate rates of violence, sexual assault, and a range of other negative outcomes like socio-economic disadvantage. Activities aimed at addressing sexual violence among Māori should avoid blaming culture, and instead look to use Māori culture to build resilience and support victims.

Kaupapa Māori approaches

Te Āo Māori (Māori world views) hold that each person is imbued with mana and that sexual violence directly impacts on the mana of the victim and their whānau. For Māori audiences, Kaupapa Māori prevention activities that strengthen whānau and communities are as important as individual-based activities.

Organisations working with Māori should:

  • draw on concepts, values, and beliefs that are meaningful for Māori
  • ground approaches in Māori language, culture, and worldviews
  • employ cultural imperatives such as whakapapa, tikanga, wairua, tapu, mauri, and manau
  • use multi-level approaches that acknowledge the importance of whānau, hāpu, and iwi, as well as working with individuals.

Kaupapa Māori interventions should be offered as an option to Māori — but keep in mind that there are diverse cultural realities among Māori. It's important to ask people if they're comfortable with a kaupapa Māori approach and not to make assumptions about their cultural identity.

There are six key themes to Kaupapa Māori prevention activities:

  • open tab close tab

    Kaitiakitanga (guardianship and protection)

  • Why kaitiakitanga is important

    Successful activities should provide whānau, hapu and iwi with culturally safe services that are in the best interests of Māori.

    How to practise kaitiakitanga

    Successful activities make sure:

    • all whānau are safe and protected — the safety of whānau is central to raising awareness
    • strategies are used that safeguard those living in Māori communities (eg mana whenua marae, hapū, and iwi) where sexual violence is suspected or known to have occurred
    • a process is in place for dealing with disclosures where sexual violence has occurred within whanau, mana whenua marae, hapū, and iwi
    • the contribution to the achievement of Māori social and cultural outcomes is clear
    • well-being models are based on Āronga Māori and advocate for a sense of balance to achieve toiora (being well and free from harm), eg Te Whare Tapa Whā, Te Wheke and Te Pae Mahutonga.

    Te Whare Tapa Wha — Ministry of Health
    Te Wheke — Ministry of Health
    Te Pae Mahutonga — Ministry of Health

  • open tab close tab

    Manaakitanga (hosting and responsibility)

  • Why manaakitanga is important

    Kaupapa Māori interventions deliver services that are mana-enhancing. The integrity of an activity can be measured by the type of service received by whānau.

    How to practise manaakitanga

    Successful activities:

    • begin by welcoming participants with a mihi, pepeha, and whakawhanaungatanga, and begin with a karakia if appropriate
    • ask participants if they wish to say anything at the end of the session
    • close with a mihi and karakia if appropriate.

    Make sure:

    • the social, economic, cultural and political issues facing Māori are understood and acknowledged
    • the sensitivity that surrounds sexual violence is acknowledged and treated with respect
    • the needs and aspirations of mana whenua, whānau, marae, hapu, iwi and Māori communities are reflected
    • cultural content including tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi is interwoven
    • vulnerable members of whānau are included and their views are valued
    • names are pronounced correctly and people are engaged with on their terms (and possibly in their own spaces).
  • open tab close tab

    Whānaungatanga (relationships)

  • Why whānaungatanga is important

    Central to Kaupapa Māori activities is the vital role of whānau in achieving and maintaining wellbeing. Whānau ora (good health) relates to support from and connection to the family.

    How to practise whānaungatanga

    Successful activities:

    • are led by Māori, for Māori, with an acknowledgement that all stakeholders in Māori sexual violence prevention (not just Māori) have a collective responsibility to make any changes necessary to ensure equitable health and well-being outcomes for all
    • acknowledge that personal wellbeing for Māori depends on the wellbeing of the community as a whole
    • recognise the critical role of the whānau in bringing about positive change, and nurture and strengthen relationships with Māori whānau, hapu and iwi based on respect
    • consider that whānau, hapu and iwi might be the most appropriate places for whānau members to access support or services
    • see relationship-building between participants, and between participants and providers, as a foundation of working together
    • promote equitable relationships between all whānau members, using traditional models of reciprocity and empowerment and reflecting tikanga and kawa
    • strengthen whānau connections, and in particular build or re-build supportive relationships for those who can no longer safely be with their closest relations
    • deliver information that can be easily applied to everyday whānau actions and experiences
    • establish functional relationships with Māori whānau, Māori communities, mana whenua, NGOs and government agencies.
  • open tab close tab

    Rangatiratanga (leadership, self-determination)

  • Why is rangatiratanga important

    Kaupapa Māori interventions are based on the premise that self-determination is vital for Māori wellbeing.

    How to practise rangatiratanga

    Successful activities:

    • acknowledge and recognise mana whenua
    • acknowledge the impact of colonisation on whānau and understand that Māori social, health and economic disparities are systemic and socially-produced
    • are whānau-centred — responsive to whānau needs, priorities and aspirations, and recognise whānau definitions of wellbeing
    • empower communities to prevent sexual violence through awareness raising and providing access to education and resources
    • acknowledge tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) and the right of Māori to have meaningful control over their own lives and wellbeing
    • acknowledge the importance of strong organisational leadership
    • respect and work with key community figures and in community spaces, and build ties with other organisations working within communities
    • recognise that there are many diverse ways of connecting with cultural identities, and acknowledge that connecting programme participants to traditional Māori cultural markers may not work for everyone.
  • open tab close tab

    Wairuatanga (spirituality)

  • Why wairuatanga is important

    Successful Kaupapa Māori activities are holistic and encompassing of Te Ao Māori.

    How to practise wairuatanga

    Successful activities:

    • actively incorporate te reo Māori and tikanga Māori
    • use the concepts of wairua, mauri, tapu, mana and noa to enhance prevention activities
    • acknowledge Māori heritage and history of mana whenua, whānau, marae, hapu and iwi
    • recognise the importance of places that provide sustenance to whānau and from where whānau draw their strength.
  • open tab close tab

    Matauranga (traditional Māori knowledge and frameworks)

  • Why is matauranga important

    Successful Kaupapa Māori interventions are based on traditional knowledge and teaching that reflects Māori perspectives and knowledge.

    How to practise matauranga

    Successful activities:

    • promote knowledge and learning based on Te Āo Māori
    • draw on traditional Māori knowledge in practises like karakia, pūrākau, waiata, mōteaea and whakataukī, and the traditional knowledge held by people like kaumātua.

    A recommended approach is to partner with a local kaupapa Māori service.

    Find a service — TOAH-NNEST