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Improving responses to domestic violence in Aotearoa New Zealand through research and innovative practice.

Tu Mai Awa

Affording dignity to people experiencing violence.

Tu Mai Awa is a community-based social change project that aims to improve responses to individuals and families experiencing violence in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The project draws primarily on Response-Based Practice and Māori principles and practices to develop or support awa (currents/channels/rivers) - socially just and effective programmes as responses to violence.

Our vision

For Aotearoa to be free from domestic violence.

Our objective

To co-ordinate mana-enhancing responses to those experiencing violence.

Our approach

Tu Mai Awa is a community-based social change project. The project draws primarily on Response Based Practice and Māori principles and practices to develop awa (currents/channels/rivers) - socially just and effective programmes as responses to violence.

Our approach in Kahungunu

In partnership with Pou Tiaki, Laurie Te Nahu and Tai Pukenga Ltd, and Hastings Women's Refuge we will be delivering an intensive Whanau based and family driven co-ordinated response to families and Whanau experiencing violence.

Our process

  • Identify gaps in responses to Domestic Violence and opportunities for change
  • Develop programs and work with individuals and organisations to implement
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the responses and develop local evidence base
  • Assess the value of the initiative for wider application
  • Share the research and practice

In Solidarity Charitable Trust

"Kanohi ki te kanohi, pokohiwi ki te pokohiwi."

Face to face, shoulder to shoulder.

In Solidarity Charitable Trust is recently registered and co-ordinates the work of Tu Mai Awa. The trustees are Karen McIntyre, Dustine Sadler, and Joe Bailey.


Karen McIntyre

Images are never neutral. They hold the potential to both exert power and act as instruments of power and can sustain and legitimate ideological violence. hooks (1995, p.3) describes representation as “a crucial location of struggle for any exploited and oppressed people asserting subjectivity and decolonisation of the mind”.

In 2012, as part of her Masters in Maori Visual Art, Karen McIntyre produced a series of paintings which represented the 13 years of intimate partner violence she had experienced. This exhibition led to the development of WAI – the Women’s Art Initiative in Palmerston North, Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 2013. WAI is a collective focused on ‘art-making’ (rather than ‘art therapy’) to self-represent women’s experiences of violence. Response Based Practice informs the approach to this collective, now in its fourth year. Karen continues to facilitate WAI and is currently in the process of setting up two further WAI collectives as part of her PhD in creative arts. She is a team member of Tu Mai Awa.

Dustine Sadler

Joe Bailey

Ki a Tangata Whenua kei te mihi.

Joe is Tauiwi having immigrated to Aotearoa in 1999 from South Africa. His ancestry is varied and includes Jewish, French and Irish heritage.

He is grateful to live in the beautiful land of Ngati Kahungunu in Hawkes Bay with his wife Rachael and four children Nathaniel, Spencer, Willow and Vienna.

Joe is the instigator and co-developer of the social change project Tu Mai Awa.

Always interested in responding to Domestic Violence, Joe has worked as a counsellor and family therapist, and more recently as a Care and Protection Co-ordinator.

Joe currently co-ordinates Tu Mai Awa, as well as providing training and coaching.


Dr Suzanne Pitama Meihana Model

Suzanne Pitama (Ngati Kahungunu) is the Associate Dean Maori and Associate Professor at the University of Otago, Christchurch.

Suzanne has a passion for teaching, winning a University of Otago teaching award in 2014, a national AKO Aotearoa tertiary teaching in excellence award in 2015 and the 2015 Prime Ministers Supreme Award for tertiary teaching excellence. Suzanne is also the Director of the Maori/Indigenous Health Institute.

She is a keen advocate for Kaupapa Māori based methodologies and has interests in child mental health, medical curriculum development and Māori health community based projects.

Find out more about the Meihana Model

Dr Ruth Gammon Wrap Around

Ruth A. Gammon, PhD, MSW is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Psychology Clinic at Massey University in Wellington, after being a child and family practitioner in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 30 years. Dr. Gammon teaches in the areas of child and family psychology with specialties in wraparound, family violence, trauma, child protection services and youth justice.

To find out more about Wrap-Around see

Laurie Te Nahu Pou Tiaki

Kurahaupō te Waka, rāua Ko Takitimu
Pukekaroro te Maunga tapu, rāua Ko Maungakahia
Whangawehi te Awa e rere ana
Tuahuru te Marae, Turangawaewae hoki
Ngai Tū, Tarewa, Ngāti Hikairo Hapū
Ko Mahia Mai Tawhiti kainga noho
Ko Mahia Mai Tawhiti rā whānau, whakatipu hoki
Ko Rongomaiwahine Arikinui, rāua Ko Kahungunu te Iwi
Ko Laurie Te Hāpuku Te Nahu toku ingoa
Tihe! Rongomaiwahine Tihe! Kahungunu!

Laurie possesses a Masters in Māori and Management (MMMgt) endorsed by Te Wānanga o Raukawa. His research compendium to support his qualification was entitled ‘Education and the Māori Nation’. Laurie has a deep interest in a range of subjects, particularly in areas of Whānau ora, Rongoā Māori, Māori Economic and Land Development, Education and Wealth creation.

Laurie is Company Director for Tai Pukenga Limited, an Education & Capacity Building Consultancy based in Hastings, Hawkes Bay.

He is currently developing a PhD research project on “A cultural framework for Indigenous Advancement”.

Dr Allan Wade Response Based Practice

Dr Allan Wade with colleagues Linda Coates and Nick Todd, developed "Response-Based Practice", which is both a method of working with victims and perpetrators of violence and their families, and a framework to guide professional interventions, research on social responses to interpersonal violence, and research on the connection between violence and language.

Dr Cathy Richardson Response Based Practice

Dr. Cathy Richardson is a family and community therapist specializing in practice and research involving recovery from violence. She is currently involved in advancing response-based practice, a dignity-based approach to violence prevention and recovery with individuals and groups. She has worked with Indigenous communities, with victims of spousal assault, and with families in child protection settings. She is a co-founder of the Centre for Response-Based Practice and is an Associate Professor at the University of Montreal.

Dr Mandy Morgan Research Co-ordinator

Mandy Morgan is a Professor of Feminist Psychology in the School of Psychology at Massey University, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Over the last two decades she has been involved in a programme of critical and discursive studies on the ways that domestic violence service and intervention providers and clients understand their experiences: the Domestic Violence Interventions and Services programme (DVIS). Projects in this programme identify issues and controversies in service delivery by engaging a systematic analysis of discourses mobilised by service providers to explain domestic violence within the context of their work.

Shanan Holm Business and Technology

Shanan is a technologist and lean business practitioner. He is the CTO and founder of iQualify, a digital learning platform created by and at Open Polytechnic that serves the learning needs of tertiary and secondary schools, businesses and professional organisations. Shanan has worked to promote iQualify’s learner-centred approach to digital education at diverse forums including UNESCO’s 2015 ICT in Education Conference in Qingdao, China.

Shanan advises Tu Mai Awa on approaches to business models and technology adoption across the Trust's website, digital community and skill and training offerings.


In Solidarity Charitable Trust CC53458
New Zealand


021 0324728 (NZ +64)