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He Ara Hou, The Pathway Forward: Getting it right for Aotearoa/New Zealand’s Maori and Pasifika children

Manuka Henare, Adrienne Puckey, and Amber Nicholson for the Mira Szászy Research Centre, The University of Auckland. Commissioned with our partners in Every Child Counts.
August 2011

Whakarapopotanga / Executive abstract

This report, authored by the University of Auckland, gives a comprehensive overview of Maori and Pasifika child poverty. The causative links and correlation now established between poverty and violence require the development of a new discourse and new policies to address family violence, and particularly the violence suffered by children in low income communities.

Within twenty years, two out of every five children in Aotearoa New Zealand will be either Māori or Pasifika. These children will become major contributors to our future economic and social health. We need to find better ways of investing in their childhoods and that of their parents to support them to reach their potential.

Click here to download the report

Traditional Maori Parenting: An Historical Review of Literature of Traditional Maori Child Rearing Practices in Pre-European Times

Professor Kuni Jenkins, PhD. and Helen Mountain Harte M.A.
May 2011

Whakarapopotanga / Executive abstract

This report is based on a review of literature exploring Maori parenting practices and the philosophy supporting these practices before 1642. This knowledge can be found in the whakapapa, the tipuna (ancestral) links to the spiritual world, the purakau (oral histories), the waiata oriori (lullabies), whakatauki (proverbs), and nga korero iwi (tribal stories). In all of this literature, the tikanga (rules, custom, methods) of parenting are signposted.

The fundamental principle for raising children was the underlying belief that children were favoured as gifts from the atua (spiritual beings), from the tipuna (ancestors) and preceded those unborn, which meant that they were tapu (under special rules and restrictions). Any negativity expressed to them was breaking the tapu by offending the atua and the tipuna gone before. Because of their intrinsic relationship to these spiritual worlds, the children inherited their mana (power, prestige). They were treated with loving care (aroha) and indulgence. Punitive discipline in whatever degree, as a method of socialising children, was an anathema to the tipuna.

Click here to download the report

Maori Child Maltreatment: A Literature Review Report

Erana Cooper & Julie Wharewera-Mika
September 2009

Whakarapopotanga / Executive abstract

This report involved reviewing literature in the area of Maori child maltreatment. Emphasis was placed on factors relating to Maori child maltreatment such as contextualising Maori violence towards children, prevalence of Maori child maltreatment, risk and protective factors for Maori child maltreatment, along with potential consequences and examples of interventions. Prevention of Maori child maltreatment, particularly via social marketing, has been a focus of this report.

The report highlighted the fact that very little published information is available on the topic of Maori child maltreatment. Much research is needed in order to provide information which will be useful in tackling this area of grave concern.

Click here to download the report