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Pakeha kaimahi in a Maori Mental Health Service  

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dannydelamere OWC
(@dannydelamere-owc)
Active Member

Tena Koutou, I am trying to get differing viewpoints in regards to pakeha clinicians working in a Maori Mental Health Service. I work in a Maori Mental Health Service that initially employed Kaimahi Maori for Tangata Whaiora Maori. Of late we have employed two Kaimahi Nehi Pakeha in our service and things appear to me as though we are may as well become just another main-stream service. I queried why we had pakeha's in our service and was told that our District Area Health Board did not have a policy restricting employees of any nationality from applying for mahi in our service. And this also applies to pakeha tangata whaiora if they wish to refer themselves into our service then they had every right to. I with numerous other maori people have fought and struggled over the past twenty odd years to establish Oranga Hinengaro Services through-out Aotearoa. It has been a long struggle fraught with numerous frustrations but eventually Maori Mental Health Services throughout the country have been established but I have to admit in most of the Maori Mental Health Services that I have worked for, we unfortunately have always had Pakeha or Western Psychiatrists. But now that things are running relatively okay these days there seems to be a shift in focus such as employing non maori into our work place. Would love to hear your comments.

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Posted : 08 February, 2008 9:34 pm
pepe OWC
(@pepe-owc)
Active Member

Kia ora Danny,
Do the Pakeha nurses speak te reo or have any training in hauora Maori, it's concepts and delivery? Have they indicated why they are interested in working in hinengaro?

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Posted : 08 February, 2008 11:07 pm
dannydelamere OWC
(@dannydelamere-owc)
Active Member

Kahore, one of them had to prove a point to herself and to others that our DHB was seen to be non-discriminatory so she felt justified in taking up her role in our service the other had a placement in our service and due to staff shortages applied and got the job. I don't deny there professional skills and they do, do there mahi. Training in Hauora Maori "NO" rudimentary understanding of "Te Whare Tapu Wha" "AYE" Mo te korero "Kahore". I have to say that our previous kaumatua Did not want the first nehi ki roto ki tatou whare mahi, and in the end he felt compelled to Resign. Which he did. Te nehi toko rua Enjoyed the learning environment of our whare and working with our kaimahi that she didn't want to go anywhere else and if she got the job it would fit in with her home life. On the other side of the coin a lot of our kaimahi maori don't korero maori either. I am suddenly aware that by posting my korero ki konei that I don't want to give to much detail away as to where I work however my name is easily identifiable. lol... Anyway having two pakeha kai mahi in our midst is also creating conflict with my other maori colleagues we discuss it amongst ourselves and finally I had no where else to turn ....except to this forum...

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 6:55 am
rlee OWC
(@rlee-owc)
Eminent Member

I work for a DHB in mental health and am part maori, we don't even have a maori mental health service, but that is about to change, yay! However because I really wanted to work more in maori mental health, i live in an area where access to training and services are lacking in hauora maori, and when I talk about te whare tapa wha it is like I have said somethig foreign to my seniors!! Were there no maori on the interview panel?? It was also like when I did the Mauri ora course and the assesor was pakeha, i felt a little ripped off!!

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 8:37 am
rlee OWC
(@rlee-owc)
Eminent Member

And Danny pity you didn't tell us about those jobs when they were going, I would have been keen lol!!!!!!

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 8:39 am
dannydelamere OWC
(@dannydelamere-owc)
Active Member

I don't know who was on the interviewing panel but I am aware that job advertising seems to be done internally within our DHB and may occassionally be advertised Nationally. Maori mental health workers either social workers or nurses or support workers are quite difficult to co-opt anyway.

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 9:09 am
whakar OWC
(@whakar-owc)
Active Member

this type of korero has been around for eons,actually its quite boring,the matter of mental health,or general health,for that matter,who gives a damn if they are pakeha,asian or martian,if they are sensitive to the culture etc then why not,not so many years ago the boot was on the other foot,now here we go again,a full circle,now maori complaining that the pakeha are now being employed in maori matters.mental and general health affects every race,who cares if your nono is black,white or whatever if you are credited with the necessary skills,and have the necessary educational certificates to go with it,and are culturally sensitive then hey why not, its not rocket science,you employ the right person for the job

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 3:04 pm
dannydelamere OWC
(@dannydelamere-owc)
Active Member

Kia Ora and thank you whakar for your whakaaro you employ the right person for their sensitivity to the culture - if you are credited with the necessary skills - necessary educational certification - and culturally sensitive - And you employ the right person for the job. Having people with differing opinions like yourself help us to put in to perspective if we as a Maori Mental Health Sevice are necessary or not or do we eradicate our Service and just work in one Main Stream Service. Thank you for that.

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 4:06 pm
rangiora OWC
(@rangiora-owc)
Active Member

Kia ora,
There are culturally sensitive Maori Mental Health Services further down the island. For me the expectation is that if I send my whanau to a Maori provider it is to be supported by Maori staff I have had connect in the past with an insensitive tauiwi worker and it was aweful. Maori have a right to the best of services not second best and if the workers were employed for there own gains then I feel sorry for the clients

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 4:51 pm
dannydelamere OWC
(@dannydelamere-owc)
Active Member

Kia Ora Rangiora I started my hikoi in mental health at Porirua Hopsital 28yrs ago the equivalents of Porirua Hospital were Lake Alice Hospital- Cherry Farm Hospital - Tokanui Hospital- Kingseat and many such like hospitals known to us as "Bins". Within the walls of these places were numerous Maori. All nursed in a Western Culture with Western Practices - Not always conducive to their best interests. The majority of staff employed in these services were of Dutch - English - German - Scottish and Pacific Island origins and from my understanding there were few maori kai-mahi at this time. We only have to read back into Psychiatric History of NZ to understand the nature and culture of the time to gain insight into these events, (whether good or bad). However a renaisance began in earnest for Maori in the mid 80's and onward with the establishment of Maori Mental Health Services amd Units throughout the country, at this time also there was opposition from some maori and non-maori as they saw this as seperatism. But to those of us involved in the setting up of these services we knew then that there was definitely a need for Maori Services to be established to provide care for our people and delivered by our people. This also enabled Iwi Providers to develop as well. In the early days of our setting up of Services it was a kaupapa Maori Service for te iwi maori which basically mean't Maori Kaimahi for Maori tangata whaiora. The majority of Maori Health Services I know to date have always offered the very best of manaaki & awhi and sensitive to tangata whaiora needs, and Suffice to say this combination has worked relatively well. But what has happened within the Service I work for to date, has meant that we have to evaluate where we are going with changing times. And in our situation perhaps we have to look at what whakar has said above "Its not rocket science, you employ the right person for the job" Thank you for your comment Rangiora.

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 5:39 pm
rlee OWC
(@rlee-owc)
Eminent Member

But if those employed where you are don't have an understanding of Hauora maori or Tikanga etc, then I think your concerns are valid, even if they hold the clinical experience that doesn't mean they are culturally experienced and that is a concern worth noting don't you think, the more Maori employed in Hauora maori the better, so much so there is a demand for those that can do the job, i am pleased to know there is even going to be a maori nursing course that has been developed in line with current nursing practice that exists already in mainstream. I have seen Maori mental health and workers at their work first hand in the south island to know that it's an awesome concept that should be retained, right down to the plants being grown at nga hau e wha in chch for rongo, a shame that when a good thing is developed for maori needs,that what Danny has spoken about happens, and again if the tikanga and cultural experience is lacking regardless of clinical experience, then whats the point of having Hauora maori services?!!

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 7:20 pm
dannydelamere OWC
(@dannydelamere-owc)
Active Member

What we have noticed in our work place is that pakeha who have married maori tend to prefer our service, over main-stream services. Due mainly in part to the fact that it is whanau orientated. and as pakeha they themselves if they need pyschiatric support or community follow-up will more often than not refer themselves to us. Again that brings another problem of where do we draw the line, as we are a Specialist Maori Mental Health Service for Maori. What I haven't done and maybe need to do is to ask tangata whaiora (clients) of our service of their perspective of having a pakeha clinician. Riee I tautoko your comment that "whats the point of having a Hauora Maori Service if the tikanga and cultural experience is lacking". Tena Koe.

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 8:34 pm
rlee OWC
(@rlee-owc)
Eminent Member

yes a general consensus would be interesting to gauge the responses from tangata whaiora, its no use having a maori specialist service if it isn't maori, run by maori, for maori, isn't that the whole concept to start with! and i guess the decision lies with those in authority when clients are self referring, maybe some models of the kaupapa could be merged into the mainstream without your service being overwhelmed by those that wouldn't normally fit the criteria, i know i will be called byast! but i do feel strongly that hauora maori is something that merits its own place within our health system so that maori feel safe enough to take advantage of what is there for them specifically to access, the statistics have shown clearly that maori are not as trusting within the mainstream system especially within mental health and there has been enough damage done when those who think they are doing the right thing are actually harming the wairua for their lack of knowledge in the cultural sense. Look how long it has taken maori services to get up and running and fighting for fundig and a place within the system to exist, and be recognised as a valuble service necessary for maori and wellbeing. Maybe you could also have a brainstorming session with your collegues to sort this as it wouldn't be a comfortable workplace to be, possibly have a meeting where tangata whaiora and your seniors and whoever else to get back to the basics of what your service is for, so there is a clear understanding with no disallusion on who you are providing for and stick with that kaupapa. naku noa.

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Posted : 09 February, 2008 10:18 pm
dannydelamere OWC
(@dannydelamere-owc)
Active Member

riee I tautoko everything you have said. 3 weeks ago we got a referral for a Samoan lady, this referral was made by one of our sister main stream services. We informed them that she did not fit the criteria for our service. However this action on our part became quite controversial and we were practically ordered to accept her referral. Which we did. So you see I am wondering if other Maori Mental Health Services are going through a similar situation to ourselves.

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Posted : 10 February, 2008 7:49 am
rlee OWC
(@rlee-owc)
Eminent Member

yes it seems when there are mainstream services operating and a minority service starts there always has to be some derailment of the basic specifics, stick to your guns, nut it out as the government health providers etc always end up having specialist services that will be infiltrated by those not fitting the criteria, maybe the pacific people could have a kaiawhina allocated for their needs when necessary instead of your serice being used to pass on those peoples. Its like there has become a need for the pacific people-aisian people to have specialist services with increasing numbers needing mental health services as with those traumatised from life in their home countries, refugees etc. Maybe a whole branch of specific ethnic health services, as with our increasing muticultural nation! maori mental health means just that and the deviations you are experiencing more or less are making it a hipocracy.

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Posted : 10 February, 2008 10:28 am
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