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Mana enhancing essential to Kaiāwhina

29 November 2021
019 6483 LUMO

Presbyterian Support Kaiāwhina Deidre Carroll and Hutika Crofts-Gibbs approach their work in a culturally sensitive way when helping kaumātua, fostering whakawhānaungtanga by making connections and acknowledging whakapapa.

This and other culturally appropriate values are integral to the work they do every day and was evident recently when the pair where able to help kaumātua, one of whom has a medical condition.

Neil* and Rui* had medical appointments at Christchurch Hospital and the logistics of travel and finding suitable parking was a heavy burden for the pair. 

While the help provided by Deidre and Hutika may sound easy enough, the way in which it was provided was culturally appropriate. In Hutika’s words, “it was mana enhancing.”

“One does not simply walk up to kaumātua and tell them how to get to the hospital or how to go about something. Mana enhancing means to be respectful, be mindful of how help can be given and how to empower kaumātua.”

It cannot be rushed either. Adopting a process called te kākano (planting the seed), help is offered in a way where Neil and Rui feel in control of their own health, an important outcome for both them and our Kaiāwhina.

As Deidre extolls, this work embraces the value of kotahitanga. “Kotahitanga is the concept of togetherness. Māori are a small yet unifified race and it’s important to lift each other up. We extend our tautoko (support) to everyone and we receive the same back.”

 *Names have been changed to protect their identities

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