Tikanga refers to values and concepts in the context of Māori culture. When working with Māori clients and their whanau Tikanga must be implemented in care design and delivery in order to achieve culturally competent practice. Tikanga practice guidelines can however also be applied to practice with other cultures.
Tukua taku wairua kia rere ki ngā taumata
Hei ārahi I aku mahi
Me taku whai I te reo Māori
Kia mau, kia ita
Kia kore ai e ngaro
Kia pupuri, kia whakamaua
Kia tina (tina)
Allow one’s spirit to exercise its potential
To guide us in our work
In our puruist of the Māori language
Take hold and preseve it
Enaure it is never lost
Draw together! Affirm!
Karakia means prayer. For many Māori individuals karakia is an essential part of protecting and maintaining te taha tinana, te taha hinengaro, te taha wairua and te taha whanau (Physical, mental, spiritual and family health). If an individual or their whanau wish to perform a karakia time should be made and the process never rushed.
Tapu and Noa
Tapu relates to the four dimensions of wellbeing and an individual’s dignity and sacredness. Noa in the negative sense is a diminished state of tapu. A healthy person is in a state of tapu, a sick person is in a state of noa. When an individual is in a state of noa they need their caregiver to empower them and equip them with the necessary care to retain tapu.
Things that are tapu, i.e. sacred things must be kept separate from things that are noa at all times.
Key practice guidelines:
- The head is tapu (sacred), kai (food) is noa. Therefore food shall never be passed over a client or whanau members head.
- As the head is tapu all personal cares that involve cleaning a client shall begin at the head and work the way down the body.
- The body being sacred also requires that workers always ask the client or their whanau for permission before touching the clients body, it should always be explained why the client is going to be touched in a specific area.
- All clothes must be washed separately from linen. Anything that touches the face/head i.e. pillow cases and flannels should be washed separately from any items that touch the body elsewhere, specifically from any items that touch genitalia e.g. underwear.
- Do not sit on tables or any other surface that comes into contact with food.
Mana is a supernatural force inside a person, place or object. Mana goes hand in hand with tapu. In the realm of health services the concept of mana can be interpreted as the spiritual power of restoring tapu. Caregivers enhance both their own mana, the mana of their client and the mana of the client’s whanau by empowering the client and whanau through performing care duties as helping another promotes restoration of tapu.
Whanau and whanaungatanga
Whanau means family, but not in the traditional western context. A culturally competent caregiver understands that whanau incorporates blood and non-blood relatives within an individual’s immediate and wider social circle. Whanau is extremely important in all aspects of Māori wellbeing. A Māori client’s care plan must always include whanau. Whanau should be encouraged to take part in care plan development and decision making. Whanau consent must always be obtained before conducting any new care duties. Any documents such as goals, care plans etc. should be shared with whanau. Caregivers must understand that working with whanau may mean working with a wide range of individuals within the client’s social life, and that these individuals may not always be physical relatives.
Whanaungatanga is the concept of connection, relationships, to incorporate whanau in working relationships to be able to share experiences, build strong relationships, create a sense of belonging and truly honour a client’s needs.
Taonga is an item of prized possession, a piece of treasure. A worker should always ask and take notice of what their client and their client’s family considers to be Taonga. The worker should endeavour to ensure such items are always respected.
Best practice values
Tika, to with stand scrutiny
Pono, to work with integrity
Aroha, to work with and for others
Whakaiti, to stay humble in your practice
Humarie, to remain calm and sensitive
Manaki, to take care of each other
This Tikanga best practice document has been formed using the Waitemata District Health Board Maori Values and Concepts (Tikanga) document, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board Tikanga Best Practice document and the Delamore Support Services Tikanga Guidelines.