Feathers for Whanau Ora — some thoughts on family violence and community well-being (2014)

by vivian Hutchinson


This paper is based on workshop notes for a session on Whanau Ora and Community Well-Being held at the Taranaki District Health Board on 22-23 July 2014.

The paper reflects on family violence and the critical role that citizens, families, neighbours and friends play in creating community well-being.

Ma te huruhuru e rere ai te manu. — Without feathers, the bird can’t fly.


Read and download Feathers for Whanau Ora from here

[ ... from the paper ]

“... As we all know, the ability to fly can be forgotten. Our national bird and many other great birds of this land paid that price when they came to these islands of predator-free abundance.

And I would argue that when it comes to “community”, we have also slowly been losing our abilities to fly. Today, we live largely in a market and consumer culture which is a predator to our citizenship, and it delivers its own forgetting.

Communities have work to do ... and a lot of this work is just not being effectively done right now. The reasons for this are not simple. And I’m not so sure we can just roll back some of the trends that are directly contributing to the amnesia and unemployment of our community selves.

It might be more a question of moving forward to a renewed understanding of the critical work that communities need to do ... and how we can foster and re-grow that part of ourselves which is about everything we share, and how we best can contribute to a common good. ”