Co-design in Te Tai Tokerau
1 July 2020
A key factor of the Māori Pathways Work is co-design, where those who are most affected by the system are major players in deciding how it will work. Pauline Hopa is leading the Māori Pathways co-design in Te Tai Tokerau and in this article gives and insight into how it is going.
A key factor of the Māori Pathways Work is co-design, where those who are most affected by the system are major players in deciding how it will work. Pauline Hopa is leading the Māori Pathways co-design in Te Tai Tokerau and in this article gives an insight into how it is going.
Māori Pathways is a major initiative to include and prioritise kaupapa Māori and whānau ora as tāne journey through the corrections system.
Te Tai Tokerau and Hawke’s Bay are the two key trial areas. It’s a four-year programme, which will help inform wider change throughout Ara Poutama Aotearoa
A key factor of it is co-design, where those who are most affected by the system are major players in deciding how it will work.
Iwi, hapū and whānau Māori, individuals and organisations who have experience of working with men who have come through the corrections system are involved in working out what the system could look like in order to meet our big goal – fewer Māori in our system.
The co-design in Te Tai Tokerau began mid last year with initial discussion with local hapū Ngāti Rangi, the mana whenua of where the facility is located. A meaningful relationship with mana whenua facilitates the involvement of other iwi and hapū throughout the region in the Māori Pathways kaupapa.
Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata – Uniting the Threads of Whānau is one of the projects. It is a kaupapa that draws on the strengths of the whānau ora approach to support Tāne Māori and their whānau who are engaged in the Corrections system to develop their own pathways to achieve their aspirations.
To set a foundation of reality the Te Tai Tokerau team (Corrections, TPK and MSD) decided its approach would be for the first co-design wānanga (learning hui) to be with those with lived experience – men who had been in prison, and the whānau of other men who had been in prison.
Pauline Hopa, on secondment from District Manager Community Probation, now leads the Māori Pathways work in Te Tai Tokerau and says no one was more surprised at involving the tāne, than the tāne themselves.
“All of them had a sense of disbelief when we approached them. They were like, ‘really?’
“But they agreed to be part of it. There is no personal gain, but they said, ‘we want to be part of the change. We don’t want what happened to us happen to someone else’.”
The first hui was with around 10 people – two long-term life parolees; three men under 25 who had recently been through prison and remained in the community space; and two sets of whānau who had been dealing with having their whānau member in prison.
Pauline says an important focus of the first wānanga in Parua Bay was getting to know each other.
“We wanted to hear their narrative, and their stories. We were asking the men and whānau to share were very personal and in some cases quite traumatic, so we needed to get into a comfortable space before we got to the hard kōrero.
“One of the kaumātua in the whānau group was from the iwi of the area and shared the local history with us. We felt it necessary to not only receive the offerings of the tāne and whānau but also have them take away something from the wānanga.
“Manaia, the maunga at the entrance to the Whangārei Harbour, was visible from Parua Bay and so to have the kaumātua share the story and history of the area ensured everyone was enriched from the wānanga. Setting a trusting relationship lays the foundation for open and frank discussion and where we could talk to each other freely.
“Some of the things they said weren’t easy to listen to. And when we asked at the end, was there one thing we could have done one man said, ‘you could just be nice.’ That has stayed with me.”
“The same group will be at every hui until the design is finalised. They are a quality assurance for the co-design. If at the end of this co-design process, they can’t see themselves and their contributions in the final product, then we have failed.”
The second wānanga included mana whenua and Māori providers who work at the grassroots, and the third wānanga extended to iwi representatives, subject matter experts and senior advisers from Design & Implementation – National Office.
“We are at the stage where we can test some early design suggestions and recommendations and put them up for discussion. Our aim from this co-design process is to give the very best material to our Design & Implementation team to then develop an operational prototype for testing in NRCF.
“The co-design is necessarily a lengthy process. It needs to develop solutions for testing, so any change has longevity and is ultimately positive in the long-term for whānau. Kotahi anō te kaupapa, ko te oranga o te whānau.”
But in the meantime, Hōkai Rangi must underpin any change.
“We need everyone in Corrections to make any change a reality.
“We want to excite and encourage the hearts and minds of our staff to bring about change to the Corrections system. We want to work together and be aligned with community efforts and energy to create innovation and positively impact the crisis of over representation of Māori in the system.
“While we are co-designing and getting this wonderful stuff, we know that to make it happen is going to take the will, the skill, and the professionalism of our staff.”