Te Tiriti and Community Innovation


Kaupapa Te Tiriti Organisation

Wesley Community Action has made a commitment to becoming a Kaupapa Te Tiriti Organisation. This commitment flows through all of our mahi including at Te Hiko. This means that we keep a focus on ensuring that the promises made in Te Tiriti O Waitangi are given the fullest effect possible to support a just, caring, and vibrant Aotearoa.  We see this kaupapa as Mission imperative.  Being a Kaupapa Te Tiriti organisation will enable us to be more effective in facilitating positive change at personal and institutional levels.  We see this commitment as entailing three inter-connected strands:

  1. Supporting Māori driven and defined initiatives and organisations (internally and externally)
  2. Weaving Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti world views, approaches and tools to inform our collective practice and mahi
  3. Challenging legislation, policies, and behaviours that are racist and contrary to Te Tiriti O Waitangi.

How do we bring this into practice and make it real?

This commitment is visible in the partnerships with the hapori and whānau we work with. If you work with Te Hiko, you will see that we have real honest positive relationships with the hapori we work in – that’s the best bit of our mahi the most fun and the best way to work. We are focused on holding the mauri of this commitment very carefully.

Our key practice tool at Wesley Community Action, and which we use in all our mahi at Te Hiko, is the Wesley Way

The Wesley Way is our daily tool for decolonisation – if we work alongside whānau and hapori as the experts in their lives, acknowledge our power and shift it, and challenge injustice when we see it then we will be putting Te Tiriti o Waitangi into action.  


As one response to this understanding, Wesley has created anew role in our team – Kaitiaki. Our Kaitiaki, Lisa Tagoloa, is available to work with kaimahi and whānau we have relationships with. She can offer them another resource to build pathways to better situations. This new role acknowledges that much of our mahi involves responding to the outward expressions of inter-generational trauma.  In this environment kaimahi need to be supported so they have the skills and knowledge to work with whānau in ways that strengthen their wairua.

Lisa brings a breadth and wealth of skills and experience into this role – weaving professional study (Kaitiakitanga: post grad diploma in bicultural professional supervision) and personal experience.  She knows Wesley and how we work in community – she is a graduate of the Good Cents course and has been active in the Porirua Timebank and Just Change.

E mihi ana ki a koutou

We have many groups and people who have contributed their time and matauranga to make this kaupapa real:

  • Our team at Wesley Community Action who push us to keep making progress in this commitment – especially our Te Ara Tangata rōpū and our Māori Caucus.
  • Support from our Pou Tikanga and Kaitiaki - two members of Wesley leadership team who help us hold strong to this Te Tiriti and decoloniation wero
  • Matewawe Pauwhare and her mahi and matauranga about Hinetītama and intergenerational trauma
  • The whānau and hapori that we work alongside. Privileging their voices in our mahi and seeking feedback has helped us to grow our practice to move away from colonizing practices and towards Kaupapa Te Tiriti. Many of the whānau we work alongside bring Te Ao Māori whakaaro to our work together and we celebrate all that this brings.
  • We also draw on the generous whakaaro of other rōpū doing similar mahi including Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Tokona TeRaki, AucklandCo-design lab, Takiri Maite Ata, InspiringCommunities.

Some useful resources on this kaupapa:

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