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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/practice-approach/practice-standards/use-professional-supervision/cultural-supervision/
Printed: 29/02/2024
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Last updated: 01/04/2019

Cultural supervision

Cultural supervision ensures we respect and explore the strengths and aspirations of tamariki from diverse and different cultures.

Upcoming changes for this guidance

This content will be strengthened so it more completely reflects our commitment to practice framed by te Tiriti o Waitangi, based on a mana-enhancing paradigm for practice, and drawing from ​Te Ao Māori principles of oranga to support mana tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga. We each need to consider how we can apply these principles to our practice when reading this guidance. The following resources provide support:
Practice for working effectively with Māori
Our practice approach

What is cultural supervision

Cultural supervision is about cultural accountability and cultural development.

It ensures that:

  • the aspirations of all cultures are respected and explored within the supervisory relationship
  • our services are delivered through culturally responsive, effective and acceptable practices.

Supervisors and cultural supervision

All supervisors should:

  • be able to provide culturally competent supervision regardless of their ethnicity
  • know when to seek cultural advice and/or supervision and have identified people they can access.

Māori-centred supervision

Working effectively with Māori is a key focus for Oranga Tamariki. A significant portion of our service interactions are with Māori and our practitioners need to be culturally responsive to be effective.

Professional supervision contributes significantly to improving best practice and outcomes for Māori. 

Under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, there is an obligation that identifies a need for Māori-centred supervision and directly links to the Oranga Tamariki practice framework knowledge base “working effectively with Māori”.

Cultural supervision provides a direct lens over Te Mana O Te Tamaiti, whakapapa and whanaungatanga.

Māori-centred supervision can be:

  • Tangata Whenua — where participants (supervisor and supervisee) are Māori
  • Tangata Whenua (cross-cultural) — Māori working with other cultures
  • Tauiwi (bicultural) — those who are not Māori who are working with Māori.

Practice for working effectively with Māori

Professional supervision practice standards

"I have utilised professional supervision to support safe cultural engagement and practice with Māori"

Practice standard: Use professional supervision

Other cultures and diversity

We need to be able to work effectively with tamariki from:

  • Pacific families and communities
  • different cultural backgrounds — including sexual and gender identities, disabilities and other communities.

To develop your skills, knowledge and capability in working with diverse cultural groups, you must use cultural supervision and have input from Pacific colleagues or other community members. They can support your learning and critical reflection.

As part of your preparation for supervision, it's important to:

  • engage with relevant Pacific models for practice
  • engage with models of practice for other diverse groups that are relevant to the work you're doing
  • think about how these might influence your approaches to safe cultural engagement with te tamaiti and others.

"I have utilised professional supervision to support safe cultural engagement and practice with Pacific and other diverse cultures in Aotearoa"

Practice standard: Use professional supervision

Working with Pacific tamariki

Each Pacific nation has a unique culture, identity and language, and a set of customs and cultural practices that are central to their identity.

In our work with Pacific tamariki and families, humility, dignity, responsibility, relationships, spirituality, guardianship and the best interest of te tamaiti are integral to the supervisory engagement.

Cultural supervision can be:

  • Tauiwi (cultural) — same culture, eg Samoan working with Samoan
  • Tauiwi (cross-cultural) — where participants are working with cultures different from their own.

[LINK]Working with Pacific peoples — Va'aifetū