Te Whāriki Manawāhine o Hauraki has been delivering tangata whenua focused services for 40 years and was initially established to provide refuge and support services for wāhine and their tamariki. Over the years, their services have evolved to include intervention, prevention and crisis support for wāhine and their whānau, including tāne. Te Whāriki is a member of the Hauraki ki Uta, Hauraki ki Tai Collective which includes Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki and the Hauraki Māori Trust Board. This collective has over the years worked on many successful collaborations to progress the overall wellbeing of Hauraki whānau, hapū and iwi.
Te Whāriki held a series of guided conversations (Courageous Conversations) with Hauraki whānau Māori, focused on leadership and breaking the silence around mahi tūkino (whānau and sexual violence) between 2018 and 2020. The purpose of these conversations was to give voice to whānau thinking and solutions about breaking the underpinning codes of silence that ultimately protects perpetrators and perpetuates the cycle of violence. Each conversation built on the previous one, ensuring that the emerging themes were woven into each discussion.
These conversations helped identify clear categories:
• What protects leaders and hides abuse,
• What stops disclosure and breaking silence
• What needs to change, and What is needed (gaps)
These categories sit within the overall framework of Breaking the Silence Around Leadership and Whānau Violence. Since then, Te Whāriki has refocussed all its services to align with the voices of Hauraki whānau who participated in the Courageous Conversations hui. This was reframed into their services programme called Kāinga Kōrero.
Pivotal to Kāinga Kōrero is Kete Whenua, a resource developed based on the voices of Hauraki whānau who asked for resources to be designed to support their cyclic journey of healing and recovering from the pain of mahi tūkino.
He aha te kai a te Rangatira? He kōrero, he kōrero, he kōrero.
(What is the food of a leader? It is knowledge, it is communication.)
The kaupapa of Kāinga Kōrero theorises that having guided conversations with Hauraki whānau Māori in environments and with people they feel safe with, will contribute to breaking the silence that protects perpetrators of whānau violence.
In 2021, Te Whāriki, Te Whare Whakaruruhau O Tauranga Moana, Taupua Waiora and Good Health Design began a collaboration to help give form to Kete Whenua. Through various kaupapa over a year, they developed a series of five intertwined and connected kete that contain prompts to guide whānau through their healing journey using matauranga Māori housed within Te Kete Tuauri, Te Kete Tuatea and Te Kete Aronui. Through the design process, concepts for two additional kete were developed – Te Kete Pou Tokomanawa and Te Kete Whenua. Together, these kete are designed to guide challenging conversations with whānau and encourage personal reflection and active processing. They are designed to be interchangeable and modular, allowing facilitators to use each kete and prompts as appropriate and helpful for each unique situation.
A first print run of the tool was produced in early 2022 and is currently undergoing feasibility and usability testing and feedback in preparation for a broader roll-out and evaluation with Hauraki whānau.