The principles of Māori directed practice and development

Author: Eketone, Anaru Duncan

Date: 2020

Publisher: University of Otago

Type: Thesis

Link to this item using this URL:

University of Otago


This research used a Qualitative Kaupapa Māori research methodology using semi-structured interviews to identify the principles of Māori Social and Community Work practice and development and how they are implemented. The research was conducted in three phases: Phase One involved interviews with Māori people working in Māori roles in Government organisations delivering social policy outcomes. It was found that Government workers implement Māori principles in four identified ways: creating supportive environments, responding to community needs, keeping themselves linked into the Māori community and following Māori processes. Phase Two involved interviews with Māori workers employed by Māori health and social service providers. These projects looked at the distinctiveness of their sites, along with the strengths, tools, principles, values and processes that underpinned their approaches. The main difference between Government and NGO workers is that, because they are already part of the community, they don’t need to make that extra effort to engage. Phase Three involved interviews with experienced Māori Social Workers about how a particular principle, whakawhanaungatanga, was implemented and the ethical dilemmas that could arise. Experienced Māori social workers were found to use a number of guiding principles and processes to protect themselves and their clients when choosing to cross traditional social work boundaries. The boundaries crossed were usually perceived as organisational rather than ethical. The processes for using whakawhanaungatanga included the worker having a clearly identified role and recognised the importance of negotiation, supervision and accountability. The role of tikanga was stressed as was the need for a process similar to poroporoaki. Other findings of the research include a model for analysing Māori development and Māori organisations. Also a framework is suggested to avoid Kaupapa Māori deteriorating into either a culturally appropriate Critical Theory response or as Graham Smith warned, a domesticated Culturalist expression.

Subjects: Social Work, dual relationships, boundaries, Kaupapa Māori, ethics, tikanga

Citation: ["Eketone, A. D. (2020). The principles of Māori directed practice and development (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from"]

Copyright: All items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.