Māori women say traditional values are the key to combatting violence – media release

Media release 24 November 2013

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 Te Wharepora Hou Māori women’s group calls on Māori across the country to commit to removing family violence by returning to traditional values and practices. 

“The violence experienced in our home and whānau is a direct outcome of colonisation which has removed whānau from the tikanga that mitigates such abuse” said Associate Professor Leonie Pihama of Waikato University. “We must not tolerate this form of destruction within our homes. Nor should we tolerate the ongoing violence perpetuated by the Crown on our whānau” she states.
 Te Wharepora Hou has been working to raise awareness of a range of issues that impact on Māori whānau.  Founding member Marama Davidson is also a part of the Glenn Inquiry into domestic violence and child abuse. She has been on the panels to ensure the voices of all whānau are heard, including Māori women and children.  “Māori women are saying very clearly that our values need to return to collective responsibility. They want better connected communities and have experienced how isolation has removed them from a shared intolerance on violence.” 
The rate of Family Violence for Māori is disproportionately high. Te Wharepora Hou is committed to providing information to support to Māori Providers and Healers at the forefront of supporting whānau to wellbeing.  Dr Pihama is a Principal Investigator in the Health Research Council Funded programme ‘He Kokonga Whare’. The programme was awarded to Te Atawhai o Te Ao Research Institute (Whanganui) to investigate issues of Historical and Intergenerational Trauma on Māori.  “The programme is at the cutting edge of engaging Historical Trauma and the need for Trauma informed approaches in Aotearoa” says Dr Pihama.  “This work contributes to an understanding of the origins of whānau violence in Aotearoa that stems from genocidal and ethnocidal acts imposed on whānau, hapū and iwi”. 
Te Wharepora Hou calls on whānau, hapū and iwi to take a zero tolerance stand on violence within and against whānau.
Release Ends
Listen to Dr Leonie Pihama on Radio Waatea talking about the issue here.
Contact:
Marama Davidson 021 025 88302
Dr Leonie Pihama 021 274 1177