Māori directly or indirectly experience disability at a higher rate than any other population group in Aotearoa New Zealand. Despite one in three Māori having some form of disability, Māori have less access to support and health and disability services. Currently, gaps exist in knowledge related to Māori and disability, and this is not helped by disabled Māori being excluded from health and disability policy and service planning forums. With regard to disability frameworks, the medical model and the social model are the predominant northern hemisphere approaches to working with disabled persons.
Ngā Pou Wāhine is a culturally embedded mana wāhine framework that addresses the complexity of Māori women’s gambling experiences, and provides an empowering process for behavioural change to regain their power and status. A key element of Ngā Pou Wāhine is the potential to encapsulate and endorse women’s stories by drawing on te ao Māori to facilitate analyses of Māori women’s gambling and their need to gamble. The theoretical framework of Ngā Pou Wāhine is based on well- known Māori artist Robyn Kahukiwa’s “Ngā Pou Wāhine” series.