Good Health Design 4 Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki Te Whare Whakaruruhau o Tauranga Moana AUT Taupua Waiora Māori Research Centre Te Ara Poutama – A tool for courageous conversations

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Steve Reay, Denise Messiter, Denise Wilson
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    Cassie Khoo, Steve Reay, Imogen Zino
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Tania Weidenbohm, Stella Barlow, Juliana James, Nadine Hamon, Paora Sweeney, Pauline Rhind, Terri Anne Sands, Sharon Nixon, Donna Rautahi, Leanne Poutu-Atutahi, Shae Hartley, Wikitoria Nuku, Judiann Tapiata, Jade Harvey, Alyssa Tang
  • Client
    Te Whāriki Manawāhine O Hauraki

Whānau violence is a significant problem in Aotearoa and is not just a social, justice or police problem. There are lifelong health consequences resulting in wide-ranging whānau, physical, mental, social and spiritual conditions. The layers of colonisation, historical trauma, abuse in state care, incarceration, and contemporary cultural, social and economic disenfranchisement make whānau violence a complex, multi-layered problem. The reality of violence for whānau is well known. It contributes to whakapapa (genealogical ties) trauma, intergenerational transmission of violence, and compounds the ongoing effects of colonisation and historical and contemporary trauma. Often whānau are disconnected from their whenua (land), te reo (language), and tikanga (cultural practices). This complexity contributes to resistance towards the resolution of mahi tūkino. Spanning generations, its destructive effects on whānau and their whakapapa negatively impact the oranga (wellness and wellbeing) of individuals and the whole whānau.

This is a mana motuhake (Māori self-determination) project led by Te Whāriki Manawāhine o Hauraki, Te Whare Whakaruruhau o Tauranga Moana, in partnership with AUT’s Taupua Waiora Māori Research Centre and Good Health Design. A series of discussions was held with Hauraki whānau and hapū about mahi tūkino and its intergenerational trauma and harm. Participants requested resources to assist those affected by mahi tūkino. We used a Kaupapa Māori methodology informed by mātauranga Māori and underpinned by the cultural values of Te Whāriki: whānaungatanga (honouring connectedness), mana motuhake (valuing integrity), pūtaketanga (sharing knowledge and wisdom), and hohou te rongo (healing and advocating justice for all) to critically explore the potential to support whānau experiencing or who have experienced mahi tūkino to determine what works, for whom, and in what circumstances.

Together we co-designed Te Ara Poutama, a card-based interactive toolkit that guides and supports wāhine and their whānau through a process of challenging but guided kōrero, personal reflection and active processing. Mātauranga Māori housed within five kete guides their healing journey that focuses on (1) Te Kete Aronui (relationship connections), (2) Te Kete Tuauri (āhuatanga (attributes), whakapapa and spiritual connections), (3) Te Kete Tuatea (opportunities and challenges), (4) Te Kete Pou Tokomanawa (to anchor mana to the whenua), (5) Te Kete Whenua (to connect with the whenua). Te Ara Poutama is used by kaimahi (community workers), whānau (extended family networks) and hapū (constellations of whānau) to promote wellbeing for those affected by mahi tūkino (whānau and sexual violence) to help bring together whānau through a range of activities to connect them to their whakapapa and whenua to enhance their oranga (wellbeing) and mana (status).

Whānau engaging with Te Ara Poutama will observe changes in whānau knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour through guided conversations. These changes represent a shift from the state of mauri mate (lack of anything) through to mauri oho (the awakening), mauri tū (a willingness to stand) and mauri ora (ultimate wellness, the best we can be). The concept of mauri noho (sitting still) demonstrates how transitioning from one state to another is neither linear nor direct but can be achieved with perseverance or repeated exposure to Te Ara Poutama.