Kaitiakitanga: A transformation of supervision


  • Emma Webber-Dreadon Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa, Rongomai Wahine, Rongowhakata




Supervision, cultural supervision, kaitiakitanga, kaitiaki, tiaki


INTRODUCTION: This article explores Māori social work supervision in Aotearoa New Zealand, from cultural, iwi, hapū and whānau perspectives. It describes an emerging model of kaitiakitanga (supervision) entitled “He Maunga, He Tangata, He Tapu, He Kahu.”

APPROACH: It is based on the author’s experience and tribal relationships, and proposes a model reinterpreting the supervisory relationship by first re-examining the meanings of these relationships from a Māori perspective. It explains the rationale of the model in order to clarify its origins, principles, purpose, obligations and responsibilities in the field of kaitiakitanga (supervision). The nine principles discussed, along with four overarching themes identified within Te Ao Māori, reflect the importance of integrating customary practices in to achieve the best outcomes for the people we serve and work with.

IMPLICATIONS: These principles are crucial to the practice of kaimahi-a-iwi and kaitiakitanga, where it is important not only to care, protect, guide, teach, influence and encourage, but also to consider self-care, and develop safe and accountable practices for all people.


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How to Cite

Webber-Dreadon, E. (2020). Kaitiakitanga: A transformation of supervision. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 32(3), 68–79. https://doi.org/10.11157/anzswj-vol32iss3id770



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