Afraid of being hurt?
Easy actions to take
Afraid of hurting others?
Easy actions to take

NZ Violence Prevention Association
Services for Māori clients

I te kore, ki te po, ki te ao marama
Out of nothingness, into the night, into the world of light

The effect of invasion, colonisation and urbanisation has created reduction in cultural identity, wellbeing and has fractured Māori whanau.

NZ Violence Prevention Association encourages all those identifying as Māori to use local Māori / Iwi services and where they are not present to ask for Māori / bicultural programmes to be provided.

Māori women may access Māori Women's Refuge services or independent refuges.

Māori men's programmes are offered by:

Te Ao Marama

Painting: 'Te Ao Marama' by Thomas Lauterback

The following information is for those who wish to understand concepts relating to Māori wellbeing and living without violence.

The Basis of Positive Māori Relating

"All resources were 'taonga' (something of value) derived from a supernatural world." Waitangi Tribunal - Muriwhanua report 1988:179

Values governing behaviour

stresses the primacy of kinship bonds in determining action and the importance of genealogy in establishing rights and status
the basis for peaceful co-existence
desirable character trait of generosity, care-giving, or compassion, and is generally about establishing one's mana
which concerns the maintenance of harmony and balance, and or mana
Waitangi Tribunal - Muriwhenua Land Report Wellington: Government Printing Office, 1997) 26-27
Maori Health Model diagram

Māori Principles

Disrespect and abuse is a violation of the above values and principles. Healing of disrespect is the restoration of those values.

"Māori law (or the Māori world) was primarily concerned with human and divine relationships. The fundamental purpose of Māori law was to maintain appropriate relationships of people to their environment, their history and each other." Waitangi Tribunal, 1997

Te Tinana - Te Wairua: The Process of Life

With Māori, Te Wairua ( the Spirit) and Te Tinana, (the Body) are so interconnected and have such a direct impact on one another that it is impossible to address the one without the other.

We need to identify the meaning of both terms and how they originate. To some this may seem so basic but it is important not to assume and that we all begin with the same understanding. Many Māori are ashamed of the lack of knowledge that they have of their own culture and may even be resistant to listen at first. Also as we define these points other important aspects are introduced and clarified.

Te Tinana: (the Body)

The question needs to be asked: "How is the body obtained?" Through the natural act of sexual intercourse between Male and Female, a body is conceived. The woman carries the foetus, after a due course of time a baby is born. This is the place of deep connection between wairua, tinana and all things.

Te Wairua ( the Spirit or Life Force)

Here the question is, what is the origin of Te Wairua? To the Māori the answer is simple, Te Wairua is from Atua (God). Māori have many names for the gods, some of the names for the supreme God are: Io Matua, Io Te Taketake, Io Te Matapuna, Io Te Matangaro, Io Te Wanaga, Io Te Waiora, Io Te Whiwhia, Io Te Mataaho.

The next question is what is the vessel that is used to bring Te Wairua from the presence of Io down to Papatuanuku (Earth)? It is Nga Wahine (the Women). Te Tinana that is conceived within the womb of women is Te Whare (the house) that is created for a specific Wairua from the presence of Io and that when born Te Tinana and Te Wairua are one, Te Tinana being Te Whare Tapu o Te Wairua (The Sacred House of the Spirit). Only upon death are Te Tinana and Te Wairua separated. Te Tinana being returned to Papatuanuku and Te Wairua to Te Ao o Te Wairua ( the Land of the Spirits or the Spirit Realm).

When we realise the role that women play in this process we begin to understand. Te Mana Wahine. For through the woman the body or the house of the Spirit is created and she is the vessel or the Waka by which the Spirit may come to Papatuanuku. Only through the Woman can this come about. However in order for a child to be conceived it requires both the man and the woman. For through Te Awa o Tane flows Te Wai Ora o Tane

When we are born the body houses the spirit and we are one. The Spirit is the Life force of the body; if the spirit leaves, the body is dead.

Although we may regard the body and spirit to be one, one of the objectives in life is to have both Te Tinana and Te Wairua live in harmony, remembering Te Tinana is of Papatuanuku and Te Wairua is from Io.

Harmony is most important. While harmony is present, peace reigns. Where peace reigns no violence can happen. Violence is the enemy of peace and harmony.

Process of Life diagram


The closest explanation of tapu is Sacred, something to be revered and respected, is of Atua.

When we regard Te Wairua is from Io, therefore Te Wairua is Tapu. We identify Te Wairua as Tapu I.

Because Te Tinana is the Sacred House or Te Whare Tapu o Te Wairua it also is Tapu. And because Te Tinana has the power to procreate which is regarded as a sacred gift of Io, it further makes it Tapu. We identify Te Tinana as Tapu O.


Mana Is a sacred gift given to man by Io Te Matua to act in His Authority. It may be used only for the benefit of others. It is the Power, Strength, Ability by which man/woman may become that for which he/she has been created to become. It is only effective if used for the purpose of good. Mana is only retained if the person is living in such a manner that their Mana is not diminished.

Mana cannot be used to have any power, dominion or compulsion over any other person. If one does he is not doing it with the true Mana of Io Te Matua and it is definitely not Mana. If there is any unrighteous dominion over another the source of power from Tumatauenga and is not for the benefit of man, but for the destruction of man.

From: Te Ara Taumata Ora programme @ Manalive by Russell Waetford

Next: more about violence.

News & Events

Little Volcanoes: Helping Young Children and Their Parents to Deal with Anger

book by Warwick Pudney and Éliane Whitehouse.

cover of Little Volcanoes: Helping Young Children and Their Parents to Deal with Anger

Young children can erupt like little volcanoes when they are feeling angry. It can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with, and can produce angry feelings in the parent or caregiver too.

This book is packed with advice and strategies for those working with children under five on how to understand and manage anger in children, and also how to help their parents or caregivers to deal with anger. The authors outline the different reasons children may feel angry so that their emotions can be fully understood, and offer strategies to combat negative feelings and minimize outbursts. These include putting in place behavioural boundaries and helping a child to feel secure. Simple activities and exercises are also given to help children and adults to express their anger positively. In addition, a selection of poems and stories will help adults to pass on the lessons of the book to children.

This practical and accessible book will be of essential use to any professional helper of parents and young children such as early childhood educators, caregivers and social workers, as well as to parents themselves.

You can purchase Little Volcanoes: Helping Young Children and Their Parents to Deal with Anger direct from the publisher.

For more information, here is an interview with author Warwick Pudney.