Ngā Tāpiritanga – Secure attachments from a Māori perspective

Sunday 19 March 10.10-11.10

Ngā Tāpiritanga – Secure attachments from a Māori perspective

by Anna Fleming


While western attachments have tended to focus on the interpersonal attachments between people, indigenous Māori attachment perspectives have always included connections and relationships to aspects outside of the interpersonal domain. Collective, cultural and tikanga-based extrapersonal relationships are significant in Te Ao Māori and include connection to whānau/hapū/iwi (extended family and community groups), whenua (land and the natural world) and wairua (interconnection and spirituality). Alongside vital interpersonal relationships, these extrapersonal connections are substantial to the development of an indigenous Māori self which is well and supported within a holistic framework.

This paper is informed by Anna’s 2016 Master of Psychotherapy dissertation, Ngā Tapiritanga. This presentation aims to explore the extrapersonal connections outlined above, their importance to hauora Māori and the implications for the practice of psychotherapy in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Anna Hinehou Fleming – Ngāpuhi, Tūhoe is current Secretary and rūnanga member of Waka Oranga, a Provisional Member of NZAP and a member of NZAP’s Te Tiriti Bicultural Advisory Committee. A social worker for over ten years, Anna trained in psychotherapy at AUT and graduated with a Master of Psychotherapy in 2017. Anna’s approach combines her working and personal experiences, with a recent focus on attachment and developmental theory particularly from an indigenous Māori perspective. She lives in Auckland, works as the Counsellor for Māori at AUT and operates a small private practice.