Iwi launch or involved in initiatives to address family and whānau violence

Image: Pixabella, openclipart.org

Iwi are developing or involved in new programmes to address family violence and whānau well-being in various parts of the country. A few projects have recently been highlighted in the media.

Whiria te Muka - Weaving the Strands 

The Whiria te Muka approach has been co-designed by police and Te Hiku iwi leaders (Ngāti Takoto, Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa) in Kaitaia over the past two years. A Police press release states:

"Whiria te Muka team will be reviewing family harm incidents reported to Police with other agencies and collectively sharing knowledge, providing cultural intelligence, whakapapa and employing a whānau approach to be best connected with that whānau."

The team will work to address immediate safety needs of the whānau and then develop a plan to address ongoing safety and behaviour change. Kaitaia Women's Refuge Chief Executive Waimaria Veza said "It's important that we're all involved and communicate with each other because we need each other," reported Stuff.

Police, iwi and others have launched similar initiatives in other areas including the Whangaia Ngā Pā Harakeke pilot scheme in the Counties Manukau, Eastern (Tairāwhiti) and Northland districts. The pilot started in the Counties Manukau Central and South areas in April 2016. It was rolled out in Counties Manukau East and West in July 2017.

See our previous story about the iwi led initiative, Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau, to ensure the whānau voice is involved in efforts to prevent family violence in Te Waipounamu, the South Island.

Ngāti Porou coordinates Family Group Conferences

Ngāti Porou is the first iwi to coordinate their own Family Group Conferences (FGC). Traditionally FGCs are organised by either a youth justice coordinator or an Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children (formerly Child, Youth and Family) social worker. The Ngāti Porou pilot started earlier this year focused on young people who offended.

Youth Justice Coordinator for Ngāti Porou, Simon Wharehinga said "Since 1989 tamariki have only [been] provided the one option that's to work with Child, Youth and Family then or Oranga Tamariki now and they're really taking that opportunity by the horns, so working with iwi has really taken off for our young people here," reported Māori Television.

For more information about the Government's initiatives to work with iwi on child care and protection see our previous story Ministry and iwi work on initiatives for children, young people and whānau.

See also the recent report from the Children's Commissioner about the need to significantly improve FGCs, particularly addressing hui-a-whānau, whakapapa searching and cultural responsiveness to whānau Māori.

Ngāti Hine adapts Triple P

The Ngāti Hine Health Trust adapted the Triple P - Positive Parenting Programme focused on positive parenting strategies unique to Māori, called Te Whānau Pou Toru. Ngāti Hine worked with the University of Auckland to evaluate the programme, finding positive outcomes for parents and children.

Additional media

Iwi given more say in Oranga Tamariki placements, Te Karere TVNZ, 28.11.2017

Fixing Northland, Newshub, 11.25.2017 (see the full transcript from the community panel)