Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau launched to address family violence

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Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau is focused on enabling a stronger Māori response to family violence, by asserting the whānau voice as fundamental to reducing and eliminating harm.

In 2016, Tā Mark Solomon, then Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu called on Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, to find a way forward in preventing family violence.

This led to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu coming together with Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu as well as Te Puna Oranga, Te Whare Hauora, He Waka Tapu and Te Rūnanga o Ngā Maata Waka, four kaupapa Māori providers in the Christchurch family violence sector. They established the group Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau which means to stand in one's truth and uphold the strength and mana of the family.

Since then, a series of community and whānau conversations have been held in Christchurch, Arowhenua, Morven, Invercargill, Dunedin, Hokitika and Blenheim. Over 750 whānau members have attended. 

In June 2017, Tū Pono: Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau - A Te Waipounamu Strategy to Effect Change was launched. A Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu news story states "The Tū Pono strategy aims to reduce the impact that family violence is having in families and communities throughout Te Waipounamu and Aotearoa, and the launch signifies the next phase in bringing this campaign into effect."

The story also states that speaking at the launch, Susan Wallace (Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio representative on the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Board) acknowledged that too often whānau do not speak up when they see or are affected by family violence. She challenged whānau to stop looking away, saying "we need to protect our whānau. We need to report what we see."

Other speakers included Dame Tariana Turia, Minister for Whānau Ora Te Ururoa Flavell and a panel of three Tāua: Aunty Kiwa Hutchen, Tāua Aroha Reriti-Croft, and whaea Inu Farrar.

Currently Tū Pono runs alongside the Integrated Safety Response pilot (ISR) to ensure the voice of whānau are included. Helen Leahy, CEO of Te Pūtahitanga, represents Tū Pono on the steering group for the ISR pilot. Eventually, Tū Pono will expand into other areas to support Māori whānau residing within Te Waipounamu.

For more information on Tū Pono see their Facebook page.

Related media

Former Ngāi Tahu chief Mark Solomon opens up about sexual abuse in his iwi, Stuff, 15.09.2017

Whānau key to addressing family violence, Beehive: Te Ururoa Flavell, 11.07.2017

Ngāi Tahu challenges violence, E Tū Whānau, 07.07.2017

Anti-family violence Tū Pono program launches in South Island, Te Karere TVNZ, 06.06.2017

Big Breakfast Interview with Helen Leahy – Te Putahitanga, TahuFM, 02.06.2017 (Helen Leahy talks about Tū Pono at 8:30 minutes)