Key Issues

Whanau violence is understood to be an epidemic because of the magnitude and serious nature of it for whanau, hapu and iwi. It has taken several generations of learned behaviour and practice to entrench whanau violence, and it will take time for whanau violence to be unlearned.

Colonisation and contemporary institutional racism – in themselves forms of violence and disempowerment – has contributed to whanau violence.

Whanau violence has come to be accepted as ‘normal’ because it can be rationalised by ‘impostor’ tikanga.

Zero tolerance to whanau violence means building a society where violence against whanau is not tolerated.

If whanau violence interventions continue to be delivered from a Pakeha conceptual and practice frameworks that isolates, criminalses and pathologises Maori individuals, nothing will change.

Maori practitioners have been seeking the right and space to develop their own practice models for the prevention of whanau violence without having their practices mutated by legislation, policy, funding or a foreign paradigm and pedagogy.

Three fundamental tasks that need to be carried out when analysing and approaching violence is:

  • Dispelling the illusion that whanau violence is normal and acceptable
  • Removing opportunities for whanau violence to be perpetrated through education for the empowerment and liberation of whanau, hapu and iwi.
  • Teaching transfomative practices based on Maori culture imperatives that provide alternatives to violence.

The three elements for bringing about transformation from violence:

  • Te ao Maori (the Maori world) which includes six cultural constucts to be applied as practice tools. They are whakapapa, tikanga, wairua, tapu, mauri and mana
  • The opportunities for prevention and healing reside in kaupapa Maori practices.