Do Māori initiatives by Māori and for Māori really help Māori?


  • Newton Thompson Ngati Raukawa ki Waikato. In the final semester of a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Community Development at the University of Otago.



m?ori youth, rangatahi, hokowhitu, alcohol and drug abuse,


Do Māori initiatives by Māori and for Māori really help Māori? In order for me to answer this question I will discuss ‘Hokowhitu’, a rangatahi life-skills programme designed specifically for Māori, by Māori, using a kaupapa Māori approach. The programme was part of a research project undertaken by the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago and was aimed at Māori rangatahi who were susceptible to alcohol and drug abuse within their micro-interactive surroundings. After a description of the programme I will finish with a discussion on how the programme influenced me personally with a critical analysis based entirely on my personal thoughts which should not be used to undermine the objectives of the creator of the programme.


Bishop, R. (1996). Collaborative stories as kaupapa Māori research. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

Dale, R. (2000). Social class and education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Politics, policy, pedagogy in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

Fleras, A. & Spoonley, P. (1999). Recalling Aotearoa indigenous politics and ethnic relations in New Zealand. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. England: Penguin.

Heke, J.I. (2005). Hokowhitu: A sports based life skills intervention programme aimed to address alcohol and drug abuse amongst adolescent Māori. (Unpublished PhD thesis), University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Massey News. (2001). Palmerston North: Massey University. Retrieved from

School of Physical Education. (2002). School of Physical Education – Research Report 2000-2002. Dunedin: University of Otago. Retrieved from




How to Cite

Thompson, N. (2017). Do Māori initiatives by Māori and for Māori really help Māori?. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 20(4), 56–59.