What is an indigenous psychotherapy?

Indigenous psychotherapy takes its proper and appropriate place alongside many other traditions that contribute to Māori health and wellbeing.  In addition to mainstream education and training, we bring kaupapa Māori attitudes and values that enrich and extend our professional skill base and more importantly form the basis for a uniquely Māori practice of psychotherapy.

Kaupapa Māori values

The following fundamental principles of relationship provide a framework for clinically effective and ethically sound psychotherapy practice within Te Ao Māori.

Manaakitanga acknowledges the mana of others as having equal or greater importance than one’s own, through the expression of aroha, hospitality, generosity and mutual respect. In doing so, all parties are elevated and our status is enhanced, building unity through humility and the act of giving.

Whanaungatanga underpins the social organisation of whanau, hapu and iwi and includes rights and reciprocal obligations consistent with being part of a collective. Whanaungatanga is the principle which binds individuals to the wider group and affirms the value of the collective while affirming the special contribution of the individual. Whanaungatanga is inter-dependence with each other and recognition that the people are our wealth.

Kaitiakitanga embraces the spiritual and cultural guardianship of Te Ao Māori, a responsibility derived from whakapapa. Kaitiakitanga entails an active exercise of responsibility in a manner beneficial to resources and the welfare of the people. It promotes the growth and development of Māori in all spheres of livelihood so that Māori can anticipate a future of living in good health and in reasonable prosperity.

Kotahitanga is the principle of unity of purpose and direction. Kotahitanga is demonstrated through the achievement of harmony, balance, and moving as one. All are encouraged to make a contribution, to have their say and then together, consensus is reached.

Rangatiratanga is the expression of the attributes of rangatira (weaving the people together) including humility, leadership by example, generosity, altruism, diplomacy and knowledge of benefit to the people. Rangatiratanga is reflected in the promotion of self- determination for Māori as an expression of the rights defined by mana atua, mana tupuna and mana whenua.

Wairuatanga is reflected in the belief that there is a spiritual existence alongside the physical. Wairuatanga is expressed through the intimate connection of the people to maunga, awa, moana and marae and tupuna and atua. These connections are affirmed through knowledge and understanding of atua Māori and must be maintained and nourished towards the achievement of wellness. Wairuatanga is central to the everyday lives of Māori and is integral to our worldview.

Te Rūnanga o Waka Oranga
Tumuake/Chairperson: Anna Fleming
Treasurer: Verity Armstrong
Secretary: Michelle Amopiu
Rūnanga Members: Alayne Mikahere-Hall, Gina O’Neill, Margaret Poutu Morice, Vi Woolf
Administrator: Rui Stewart