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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/practice-approach/practice-standards/whakamana-te-tamaiti-practice-empowering-tamariki-maori/
Printed: 22/04/2024
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Last updated: 08/11/2017

Whakamana te tamaiti – tohu Whakamana te tamaiti: Practice empowering tamariki Māori

I will apply the principles of Mana Tamaiti, Whakapapa and Whanaungatanga to my practice, in order to ensure I’m responsive to tamariki and whānau Māori.

I will know I have achieved this standard when...

Mana Tamaiti

  • I have identified with te tamaiti their strengths, needs and attributes in order to enhance their mana and cultural identity
  • I have advocated for te tamaiti to ensure they receive support that is culturally responsive to their needs, language and identity as Māori
  • I have supported te tamaiti to be proud of being Māori.


  • I have identified and engaged whānau, hapū, and iwi members to participate in decision making for te tamaiti
  • I have facilitated and strengthened connections for te tamaiti to their whakapapa (significant people, places, cultural values).


  • I have spoken with te tamaiti and facilitated relevant use of te reo Māori me ona tikanga (cultural practices) to support respectful, purposeful engagement and meaningful relationship building with them and their whānau, hapū and iwi networks.

Quality practice means I also…

  • apply the correct pronunciation of Māori names and words, particularly the names of tamariki and whānau
  • have an applied understanding of Māori concepts of oranga and the dynamics of whānau
  • understand my responsibilities in working with tamariki Māori, whānau Māori, hapū and iwi
  • understand the social context and history of Māori as the indigenous people of New Zealand
  • understand the importance of local mana whenua support when working with tamariki Māori
  • understand the intergenerational impact of trauma and the cultural processes and practices that support restoration.

Why do we have this standard?

Whakamana te tamaiti is an approach to practice which focuses on empowering tamariki Māori in their identity and culture. This includes connecting them with whānau and whakapapa and wider support networks that support their wellbeing.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi underpins the bicultural partnership between Māori as tangata whenua and tauiwi in Aotearoa. As practitioners, we have obligations to work in partnership with Māori in ways that support their participation and protection as indigenous people in matters that concern them.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRoC) and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) provide international guidance on best practice in meeting and promoting the rights of indigenous tamariki and whānau Māori. This supports them to be able to participate in their culture, customary practices and language, to experience appropriate support and responsive services which meet their needs.

Oranga Tamariki is engaged with a significantly disproportionate number of tamariki Māori. Tamariki, whānau, hapū and iwi have told us that we need to understand, engage and work with them in order to achieve better outcomes together. As indigenous and bi-cultural practitioners we have a responsibility to build genuine and respectful relationships with whānau, hapū, iwi and the wider Māori community that acknowledge their expertise and enable their full participation in decisions about their tamariki.

How will we know we have made a difference?

This standard will contribute to the following objectives:

1. Improving assessment and addressing of need, by:

  • ensuring assessments and plans identify and address culture and identity for tamariki
  • ensuring key people in the lives of tamariki are identified and engaged to support them and their whānau.

2. Improving children's experience of the support they receive, by:

  • enhancing the quality of engagement with tamariki and whānau Māori.

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