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Thesis - Mokopuna Rising

January 25, 2013 at 9:58 AM

'Mokopuna rising: intervention in whānau violence', by Erana Cooper, PhD Thesis, University of Auckland, 2012


Family violence is a critical issue facing Aotearoa New Zealand, and over-representation of the indigenous population is of great concern. The elucidation of successful prevention and intervention strategies is of significant interest to the field, yet there exists a dearth of literature related to the relevance and efficacy of these for Māori whānau (families). This study aimed to describe practices which assist whānau in the prevention or elimination of whānau violence. This was investigated through qualitative research methods, situated within a framework of Kaupapa Māori methodology (indigenous research theory and methods), and informed by the broad traditions of both clinical and community psychology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 50 participants representing three groups: whānau, practitioners in the field, and tribal representatives from the Ngāti Hine hapū (from Northern New Zealand). Analyses of interviews revealed that the experience of whānau violence for Māori involves a complex interaction of both historical and contemporary factors. Overall, Māori approaches to intervention and the restoration of whānau through strengthening cultural identity and practices were valued by all three participant groups. The presence of positive role-models and meaningful engagement with therapeutic and other supports were also highlighted by all three groups as fundamental in preventing and stopping whānau violence. Education, skill development, and the provision of opportunities to change were also identified by whānau as mitigating factors for whānau violence. Practitioners emphasised the characteristics and skills necessary to facilitate change within whānau, and identified that support for them in this work is important. Ngāti Hine representatives also highlighted whānau connectedness and support for young people as valuable strategies. A need for succession planning and a desire for rangatiratanga (self-determination) contributed to a vision held by Ngāti Hine representatives for healthy whānau and a strong hapū. Underscored by participants in all three groups, as an essential factor in preventing and stopping whānau violence, was the presence of hope. Being based within a hapū (tribal) environment, this study makes a unique contribution to both the theory and practice of prevention and intervention in whānau violence.


Category: Research