Māori intergenerational trauma and healing research presentations now online

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Video recordings and Powerpoint presentations from recent seminars on the research programme "He Kokonga Whare: Māori Intergenerational Trauma and Healing" are available online.

The major research programme has been carried by Te Atawhai o Te Ao since 2011. It has sought to generate new knowledge on inter-generational impacts among Māori, who experience high rates of trauma and this can be passed from one generation to another. The research has investigated the ways that people recover from sexual abuse, from imprisonment and from cultural disconnection. The researchers have aimed to find pathways to recovery and identify good practice that will be useful for whānau affected by trauma and those who work with whānau.

The programme was only the second Māori led programme awarded by the Health Research Council (HRC) in 20 years, and the first HRC programme to be awarded to a community-based host.

Publications, presentations and resources

Publications, presentations and resources from the research programme so far are listed below.


Historical trauma, healing and well-being in Māori communities (Rebecca Wirihana & Cherryl Smith, 2014)

Positioning historical trauma theory in Aotearoa NZ (Leonie Pihama, Paul Reynolds, Cherryl Smith, John Reid, Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Rihi Te Nana, 2014)


Seminars on the research programme were held in October 2016. Video recordings are available on the Te Atawhai o Te Ao Facebook page (scroll down). The Powerpoint presentations are available on the Te Atawhai o Te Ao website.

The Powerpoint slides are available from a hui presentation by Andre McLachlan Intergenerational transmission of gang involvement and incarceration - Review of clinical practice (2014).

Historical trauma research seminars were presented by international speakers Dr Eduardo Duran and Professor Karina Walters in 2012. Dr Duran and Professor Walters were hosted in New Zealand by Te Atawhai o Te Ao, Māori and Indigenous Analysis, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the University of Waikato. The seminars were co-hosted by Te Puna Wānanga and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.

Digital storytelling resources

Reconnections to Whenua (Paul Reynolds)

Reconnections to Te Reo Māori  (Cherryl Smith)

Te Hikoi - The Journey (Christine Waitai-Rapana)

Background information

Tthe research programme has targeted different contexts of trauma, recovery, and healing responses through four research projects:

  1. The Whenua, Historical Trauma and Health Outcomes project (Whenua Project);
  2. The Health and Wellbeing of Māori Prisoners on Reintegration to the community project (Prisoners Project);
  3. The Impact of Sexual Violence on Māori project (Sexual Violence Project); and
  4. The Māori Narratives of Trauma and Wellness project (Wellness Project).

The research team includes:

  • Dr Cherryl Smith and Helena Rattray (Te Atawhai o Te Ao)
  • Dr Leonie Pihama and Rihi Te Nana (Māori & Indigenous Analysis Institute)
  • Professor Linda Smith (University of Waikato)
  • Dr John Reid (Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu)
  • Dr Takirirangi Smith (Wellington)
  • A national network of community researchers
  • Professor Karina Walters (Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington, Seattle)
  • Dr Eduardo Duran (Bozeman, Montana, USA)

More information is available on the Te Atawhai o Te Ao website.