Te Puāwaitanga o te Kākano research: Māori views and understandings of sexual violence

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In 2009, Te Puni Kōkiri commissioned work to explore Māori views and understandings of sexual violence. Te Puāwaitanga o te Kākano is a background paper summarising this research, written by Dr Leonie Pihama and Huriana McRoberts, Māori and Indigenous Analysis Ltd. Ngā Kaitiaki Mauri, the Māori whare of Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST), has made the report available on their website.

The kaupapa Māori research examines traditional and contemporary knowledge relating to sexual violence and healthy relationships for Māori. It responds to a dearth of material regarding Māori definitions and understandings of sexual violence, despite Māori being overrepresented in sexual violence statistics. 

The paper draws on pūrākau, mōteatea and other sources of kōrero tawhito. It "focuses on Te Ao Māori and includes an analysis of relevant cosmology, whakapapa, language, rituals, protocols, behaviours, narratives, symbols and practices. These are potential sources for identifying Māori core values, ethics and beliefs relevant to healthy sexual relations and sexual violence intervention and prevention." The paper also looks at influences that have had an impact on indigenous knowledge over time including Christianity, colonisation, urbanisation, alienation of whenua, and the denial of mātauranga Māori.

The research involved a literature review, 15 key informant interviews and four case studies. The case studies focused on: Te Kākano SAFE, Auckland; Kite Rapu i te Ora, Opotiki; Tū Wāhine, Auckland; and Te Puna Oranga, Christchurch. The report recommends additional research in the area and kaupapa Māori approaches to prevention, intervention and healing in sexual violence services.

Related research and resources

The TOAH-NNEST website hosts Ngā Kaitiakai Mauri's Supplementary Submission to Social Service Select Committee - Kaupapa Maori Specialised Sexual Violence Services, which came out of consultation hui held with kaupapa Māori social services in 2014. The submission provides a summary of key priorities identified by hui participants and recommendations to be considered by the Select Committee. 

The TOAH-NNEST website also provides information about the prevention of sexual violence from a Māori worlview

You can find other research by Dr Leonie Pihama in the NZFVC library.

For more library items, see the NZFVC Quick Topic Search for research related to Māori.

The Ministry of Social Development's E Tu Whānau Programme of Action for Addressing Family Violence 2013-2018 provides a framework for Te Ao Māori and government to work together to address issues of whānau violence.