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NZ Police: Te Mauri of Whiria Te Muka is alive

Monday, November 27, 2017

Update: 7:58PM TE kuaka marangaranga, kotahi manu i tau ki te tahuna: tau atu, tau ra.

When translated reads: "The kuaka flock has arisen; one bird has come to rest on the beach; others will follow."

And with this, the New Zealand Police Force has celebrated today being the beginning of a new approach to help whānau build a pathway to increased wellness.  

It says that Whiria te Muka - Weaving the Strands - is a unique Kaitaia-based solution focused on preventing and reducing the family harm experienced by Te Hiku whānau, hapu, iwi and communities.

It said that aligned to the Te Hiku Social and Wellbeing Accord, this solution had been co-designed in partnership between Te Hiku iwi leaders (Ngati Takoto Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa) and Police over the past two years.

Whiria te Muka's singular role is to empower the hopes and aspirations of Te Hiku whānau, Police said.

It said that it would contribute practical solutions and improved delivery of whānau services to support those whānau who were in most need and required immediate support.  

Whiria te Muka is about enabling a space of advocacy and systemic change, cloaked in the narratives of Te Hiku.

"Today symbolises the high trust collaboration that developed as a result of the honest and real partnership.  While it may be a lean start-up, it is an example of social innovation and investment, and a positive beginning," Te Hiku Iwi spokesperson Harry Burkhardt said via the Police statement. 

"These challenges in our whanau are not unique, they are being replicated in every country in the world.  But our approach to be the life raft that keeps them afloat is unique.  The kuaka flock has arisen."

Police Northland District Commander Superintendent Russell Le Prou said he was extremely proud that together, collectively, they had arrived.  

He said he was proud that Police had an Iwi partnership that had resulted in a real local solution. 

"Personally, this initiative is about a commitment I made to a mother, following the death of her daughter at the hands of her former partner," Superintendent Le Prou said.

"I promised her we would be better, we would be different and we would commit to not letting anyone else down.

"As Police, we talk about turning the tide and being victim-focused.  Whiria Te Muka is our community response so we see fewer victims of whānau harm and a reduction in harm as a result of whānau violence."

Superintendent Le Prou said the Whiria te Muka team would be reviewing family harm incidents reported to Police with other agencies and collectively sharing knowledge, providing cultural intelligence, whakapapa and employing a whānau approach to be best connected with that whānau.

He said the first response was to ensure the immediate safety of whānau, particularly tamariki.  

And he added the next step involved delivering a sustainable plan to maintain that safety and support continual behaviour change by addressing the underlying stresses on the whānau.

Whiria Te Muka is the third such initiative where Police, iwi and the community work in partnership to address family harm.

Whangaia Nga Pa Harakeke has been in place in Tairawhiti since February this year, and in Counties Manukau since April this year.

The Whiria te Muka team of 10 staff (Iwi and Police employees) will operate from Te Aupouri House in Kaitaia.

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