Ka mua, ka muri—Walking backwards into the future
Partnering with mainstream child protection services as a community-based Māta Waka organisation
Keywords:partnership, Māori, non-governmental organisation, child protection, Indigenous, collaboration, statutory services, community providers
INTRODUCTION: Spurred by critical reviews of Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children, Aotearoa New Zealand’s statutory child protection agency, and growing calls for services delivered “by Māori, for Māori, with Māori”, the New Zealand government is taking significant steps toward devolving responsibility for supporting the wellbeing of tamariki, rangatahi, and whanau Māori from the Crown to Iwi and Māori social service providers. Frequently overlooked in discussions of Crown–Māori partnerships are community-based Māta Waka (pan-tribal) organisations, which provide a range of much-needed services to tamariki, rangatahi and whānau Māori who are not mana whenua. The purpose of this Kaupapa Māori research was to examine the expectations that kaimahi working for a Māta Waka Kaupapa Māori service provider have of other organisations that: 1) partner with tamariki, rangatahi and whānau Māori; and, 2) partner with Māta Waka.
APPROACH: Drawing on findings from wānanga with kaimahi, this article illuminates the principles and values that guide their practice, using these as a foundation for exploring the complexities, challenges, and opportunities inherent in building effective partnerships with statutory child protection services on behalf of tamariki, rangatahi and whānau Māori across differences in mandate, power, world views, and guiding frameworks or tikanga Māori.
IMPLICATIONS: The study findings have implications for current Crown–Māori partnership efforts and, by extension, for the wellbeing of tamariki, rangatahi, and whānau Māori.
Boulton, A., Levy, M., & Cvitanovic, L. (2020). Beyond Puao-Te-Ata-Tu: Realising the promise of a new day. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga. Te Arotahi Series Paper, 1–20. http://www.maramatanga.ac.nz/sites/default/files/ teArotahi_20-1106.pdf
Boulton, A., Potaka-Osborne, G., & Cvitanovic, L. (2018). E tipu E rea: The care and protection of indigenous (Māori) children. New Zealand Law Journal, no. 1, 3–26. https://advance.lexis.com/api/permalink/2da07adc-2d7d-4941-a12f-58c85733d358/
Brannelly, T., & Boulton, A. (2017). The ethics of care and transformational research practices in Aotearoa New Zealand. Qualitative Research, 17(3), 340–350. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794117698916
Cormack, D., & King, P. (2022). Beyond the “abyssal line”: knowledge, power, and justice in a datafied world. In M. Walter, T. Kukutai, A.A. Gonzales & R. Henry (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of indigenous sociology. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/ oxfordhb/9780197528778.013.35
Cuesta-Briand, B., Bessarab, D., Shahid, S., & Thompson, S. C. (2015). Addressing unresolved tensions to build effective partnerships: Lessons from an Aboriginal cancer support network. International Journal for Equity in Health, 14(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-015-0259-7
Durie, M. (2004). Understanding health and illness: Research at the interface between science and indigenous knowledge. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33(5), 1138–1143. https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyh250
Eggleton, K., Anderson, A., & Harwood, M. (2022). The whitewashing of contracts: Unpacking the discourse within Māori health provider contracts in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Health & Social Care in the Community, 30(5), e2489–e2496. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13691
Eketone, A. (2002). Te waka tangata: Using waka as a model for the structures of Māori organisation. Social Work Review, XI (2), 14–16. https://ourarchive.otago.ac.nz/ handle/10523/7091
Eketone, A. (2021). Dual relationships and crossing boundaries in Māori social work practice. Journal of Indigenous Social Development, 10(1), 29–49. https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/jisd/article/ view/70466
Fitzmaurice, L. (2022). Whānau, tikanga and tino rangatiratanga: What is at stake in the debate over the Ministry for Children? MAI Journal, 9(2), 166–172. https://doi.org/10.20507/MAIJournal.2020.9.2.7
Fricker, M. (2007). Epistemic injustice: Power and the ethics of knowing. Oxford University Press.
Grey, S., & Sedgwick, C. (2013). The contract state and constrained democracy: The community and voluntary sector under threat. Policy Quarterly, 9(3), 3–10. https://doi.org/10.26686/pq.v9i3.4702
Hyslop, I. K. (2021). Child protection reform in Aotearoa- New Zealand: Devolution or revolution? International Journal on Child Maltreatment: Research, Policy and Practice, 4(4), 439–454. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42448- 021-00086-6
Hyslop, I. K. (2022). A political history of child protection: Lessons for reform from Aotearoa New Zealand. Policy Press. https://doi.org/10.1332/ policypress/9781447353171.001.0001
Jackson, M. (2015). He manawa whenua. In L. Pihama, H. Skipper, & J. Tipene (Eds.), He Manawa Whenua. Proceedings of the Inaugural Indigenous Research Conference of Te Kotahi Research Institute (pp. 59–63). Te Kotahi Research Institute.
Keddell, E., Cleaver, K., & Fitzmaurice, L. (2022). Experiences of baby removal prevention: A collective case study of mothers and community- based workers. Qualitative Social Work. https://doi. org/10.1177/14733250211058
King, P. T. (2021). Oranga Mokopuna: Ethical co-designing for the Pluriverse [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Otago.
King, P. T., & Cormack, D. (2022). “It feels special when you’re Māori”—Voices of mokopuna Māori aged 6 to 13 years. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 52(4), 376–395. https://doi.org/10.1080/03036758.2022.2064520
Leckey, R., Schmieder-Gropen, R., Nnebe, C., & Clouthier, M. (2022). Indigenous parents and child welfare: Mistrust, epistemic injustice, and training. Social & Legal Studies, 31(4), 559–579. https://doi. org/10.1177/09646639211041476
Lindsay Latimer, C., Le Grice, J., Hamley, L., Greaves, L., Gillon, A., Groot, S, Manchi, M., Renfrew, L., & Clark, T. C. (2021). “Why would you give your children to something you don’t trust?”: Rangatahi health and social services and the pursuit of tino rangatiratanga. Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 17(3), 298–312. https://doi.org/10.1080/117708 3X.2021.1993938
Maaka, R. C. (1994). The new tribe: Conflicts and continuities in the social organization of urban Māori. The Contemporary Pacific, 311–336. http://hdl.handle. net/10125/12988.
Māori Perspective Advisory Committee. (1988). Puao-Te- Ata-Tu (Daybreak): The report of the ministerial advisory committee on a Māori perspective for the Department of Social Welfare. Department of Social Welfare.
Masters-Awatere, B. (2015). “That’s the price we pay”: Kaupapa Māori Programme stakeholder experiences of external evaluation [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Waikato.
Mills, A. (2015). A gentle thaw or continued deep freeze?: Relationships between voluntary and community organisations and the state in criminal justice in New Zealand. Third Sector Review, 21(1), 121–142.
Moore, J., Wendt, S., Rigney, C., & Bastian, C. (2022). Aboriginal cultural safety: A case study of collaborative practice at the intersection of family violence and child protection. Australian Social Work, 1–14. https://doi.org/1 0.1080/0312407X.2022.2078220
Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children. (2021). Strategic partnerships with Māori. https://www.orangatamariki. govt.nz/about-us/how-we-work/strategic-partnerships-with-maori
Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children. (2022). New ways of working. https://www.orangatamariki.govt.nz/about-us/ how-we-work/new-ways-of-working/
Ormond, A., Cram, F., & Carter, L. (2006). Researching our relations: Reflections on ethics and marginalisation. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 2(1), 174–193. https://doi. org/10.1177/1177180106002001
Pohatu, T. W. (2013). Āta: Growing respectful relationships. Ata: Journal of Psychotherapy Aotearoa New Zealand, 17(1), 13–26. https://doi.org/10.9791/ajpanz.2013.02
Rolleston, A., McDonald, M., & Philippa Miskelly (2021). Our story: A Māori perspective of flourishing whānau. Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online, 17(3), 277–297. https://doi.org/10.1080/1177083X.2021.1981955
Royal, T. A. (2011). Wānanga: The creative potential of mātauranga Māori. Mauriora-ki-te-Ao/Living Universe.
SNAICC. (2020). Creating change through partnerships: An introductory guide to partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations in child and family services. SNAICC – National Voice for our Children. https://www.snaicc. org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/1148_SNAICC_ PartnershipBook_LR-Final.pdf
Social Service Providers Aotearoa. (2022). Social work pay equity progress and next steps. https://sspa.org.nz/pay-equity
Sookraj, D., Hutchinson, P., Evans, M., Murphy, M. A., & Okanagan Urban Aboriginal Health Research Collective. (2010). Aboriginal organizational response to the need for culturally appropriate services in three small Canadian cities. Journal of Social Work, 12(2), 136–157. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468017310381366
Taylor, K. P., & Thompson, S. C. (2011). Closing the (service) gap: Exploring partnerships between Aboriginal and mainstream health services. Australian Health Review, 35(3), 297–308. https://doi.org/10.1071/ AH10936
Taylor, K. P., Bessarab, D., Hunter, L., & Thompson, S. C. (2013). Aboriginal-mainstream partnerships: exploring the challenges and enhancers of a collaborative service arrangement for Aboriginal clients with substance use issues. BMC Health Services Research, 13(12). https:// doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-13-12
The Pūtaiora Writing Group. (2010). Te Ara Tika guidelines for Māori research ethics: A framework for researchers and ethics committee members. Health Research Council. https://www.hrc.govt.nz/resources/te-ara-tika- guidelines-maori-research-ethics-0
Waitangi Tribunal. (1998). Te Wha ̄nau o Waipareira report, Wai 414. GP Publications.
Waitangi Tribunal. (2021). He Pāharakeke, He Rito Whakakīkīnga Whāruarua: Oranga Tamariki Urgent Inquiry WAI 2915. https://forms.justice.govt.nz/ search/Documents/WT/wt_DOC_171027305/He%20 Paharakeke%20W.pdf
Walker, P. (2004). Partnership models within a Māori social-service provider. International Journal of Social Welfare, 13(2), 158–169. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1369- 6866.2004.00309.x
Walker, P. (2010). Negotiating trans-cultural social service partnerships. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 22(3), 48–55. https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol22iss3id183
Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency. (2020). Ko Te Wā Whakawhiti, it’s time for change: A Māori inquiry into Oranga Tamariki. https://whanauora.nz/assets/ 62879b6bdf/ OTREVIEW-REPORT. Pdf
Whiting, C., Cavers, S., Bassendowski, S., & Petrucka, P. (2018). Using two-eyed seeing to explore interagency collaboration. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 50(3), 133–144. https://doi. org/10.1177/0844562118766176
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
By completing the online submission process, you confirm you accept this agreement. The following is the entire agreement between you and the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) and it may be modified only in writing.
You and any co-authors
If you are completing this agreement on behalf of co-authors, you confirm that you are acting on their behalf with their knowledge.
By submitting the work you are:
- granting the ANZASW the right of first publication of this work;
- confirming that the work is original; and
- confirming that the work has not been published in any other form.
Once published, you are free to use the final, accepted version in any way, as outlined below under Copyright.
You assign copyright in the final, accepted version of your article to the ANZASW. You and any co-authors of the article retain the right to be identified as authors of the work.
The ANZASW will publish the final, accepted manuscript under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 4.0). This licence allows anyone – including you – to share, copy, distribute, transmit, adapt and make commercial use of the work without needing additional permission, provided appropriate attribution is made to the original author or source.
A human-readable summary of the licence is available from http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, which includes a link to the full licence text.
Under this licence you can use the final, published version of the article freely – such as depositing a copy in your institutional research repository, uploading a copy to your profile on an academic networking site or including it in a different publication, such as a collection of articles on a topic or in conference proceedings – provided that original publication in Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work is acknowledged.
This agreement has no effect on any pre-publication versions or elements, which remain entirely yours, and to which we claim no right.
Reviewers hold copyright in their own comments and should not be further copied in any way without their permission.
The copyright of others
If your article includes the copyright material of others (e.g. graphs, diagrams etc.), you confirm that your use either:
- falls within the limits of fair dealing for the purposes of criticism and review or fair use; OR
- that you have gained permission from the rights holder for publication in an open access journal.