Maori children are uplifted by the New Zealand government at disproportionate rates compared with tauiwi children. The removal of tamariki from culturally embedded networks exacerbates intergenerational trauma created by colonisation. Placements into unsafe contexts mean that additional instances of harm and cumulative trauma are common, and tamaiti atawhai are not positioned within fullness of their cultural being. This article draws on a broader Kaupapa Māori project involving semistructured interviews with kaiāwhina Māori across the North Island.
There have been many attempts at measuring Māori identity and cultural engagement, yet there have been no scales created to specifically explore whanaungatanga. Whanaungatanga can be operationalised as active participation in and a sense of belonging to social groups and collective, reciprocal caring relationships. In this article, we document the development of a whanaungatanga scale alongside a measure of Māori identity.