Tāniko : public participation, young Māori women, & whānau health : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Māori Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Recent Māori, sexual, and primary health developments have been influenced by the principle of participation. For example, the use of a whānau-centred approach, of community development, and of Primary Health Organisations allows participation in decision-making. However, none of the abovenamed strategies adequately explain how young Māori women can participate in decision-making in one common area: Māori, sexual, primary health policy.
This thesis explores how Primary Health Organisations can work with young Māori women to promote sexual health to whānau by focusing on policymaking processes and effective participation mechanisms. Māori health development from colonial Contact to 2005 is reviewed before the broad health framework (the New Zealand Health Strategy and the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000) is defined. A critique of relevant policy, in particular He Korowai Oranga (2002), the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy (2001), and The Primary Health Care Strategy (2001), reveals scope for participation and whānau-centredness. Primary Health Organisations pose challenges to whānau sexual health promotion. However, with public participation from young Māori women, like the thesis participants, new opportunities can be realised.
The research was conducted in accordance with a Mana Wāhine-based methodology called Tāniko The four parts (Mana Wāhine, Te Ao Tawhito, Te Ao Hou, and Te Ao Mārama) defined the research aim and objectives. A qualitative strategy employing semi-structured interviews with three young Māori women was followed by a confirmatory stage of content analysis utilising a deductive public participation evaluation tool: the Tāniko instrument. The instrument analysed four policymaking decisions and two mechanisms: organised peer groups and the wāhine-centred approach. The research concluded that when defining how, by whom, and to whom information is presented, organised peer groups can be utilised at the coordination and evaluation policymaking stages. The wāhine-centred approach can share or manage participation through problem definition, consultation, decision, and implementation.