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Atawhainga Te Pa Harakeke Launched


Associate Social Services and Employment (social services) and Maori Affairs (social development) Minister Tariana Turia today launched an exciting new whanau development initiative at Terenga Paraoa Marae, in Whangarei.

Atawhaingia Te Pa Harakeke (Nurture the Family) includes He Taonga te Mokopuna, a programme designed to assist children who have witnessed domestic violence or other instances of extreme family distress. It also includes a parenting programme called Hakorotanga for Maori men who are fathers of young children which aims to assist them to replace negative parenting practices with practices that impact positively on their children.

"He Taonga te Mokopuna has also been piloted and evaluated, including independent evaluation by the University of Auckland. It seeks to empower the children to overcome the particularly difficult home environments they have experienced as well as working with parents and caregivers to ensure ongoing safety and positive development of the children.

"Hakorotanga has been thoroughly piloted in Rimutaka and New Plymouth prisons and evaluated, including independent evaluation through Waikato University.

"Hakorotanga seeks to reduce the level and seriousness of subsequent spousal or child abuse and reduce the likelihood of intergenerational transmission of family violence.

"Atawhaingia Te Pa Harakeke represents a new and dynamic approach to addressing the depth of the impact that domestic violence has on whanau, hapu and iwi and their development. Not only does it address the needs of parents and caregivers to meet their obligations and responsibilities to their children, it also works with the children to assist them to learn non-violent ways of behaving and responding to violence.

"The essence of programme is the message of 'non-violence', taught to both parents and their chidlren. The greatest responsibility lies with the parents to model non-violent behaviour.

"This provides an excellent opportunity for hapu and iwi providers to deliver a programme designed and developed specifically to address violence wherever it may occur. Whether it be in the home, the school, the community or the society in general. It is important that domestic violence is not seen in isolation from the society in which it occurs.

"The programme will be available over three years to a total of between 60-90 hapu and iwi providers. Ten to fifteen providers each year will be trained in each part of Atawhaingia Te Pa Harakeke in-depth to ensure the quality of the programme is maintained.

"Early Childhood Development will deliver the training to the providers, while the Department of Child Youth and Family Services are managing the contract.

"The Labour Alliance Government has chosen to work alongside whanau, hapu and iwi and acknowledges the innovative new approaches to addressing violence within the whanau that have been successfully developed.

"I abhor violence in any form whether personal or institutional. All forms of violence suppress the abilities of those it is inflicted on and stifles progress.

"All forms of violence must be addressed head on by those who have the responsibility to do so, if the cycle of violence is to be broken.

"This new programme Atawhaingia Te Pa Harakeke – Nurture the Family has been developed so that our whanau, hapu and iwi can meet their responsibility and obligations to address head on the issues of violence that exist within our society.

"I have said in the past and I continue to believe that violence is perhaps to biggest issue, stifling the development of whanau, hapu and iwi," Tariana Turia said this morning.

Ends

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