The holistic understanding of a person in Māori culture is a helpful concept for reconciliation. He aroro whaihua te whakamārama torowhānui i te tangata ki te ao Māori hei whakamārire.
The Māori warrior is a stereotype which does not do justice to Māori culture or recognise the work that was done to maintain peace between individuals and between iwi. Kelli Te Maihāroa has been exploring Māori peace-making with Heather Devere (University of Otago) and their collaboration has resulted now in a book chapter about the value of Indigenous principles for restorative justice within the context of Aotearoa.
The Māori worldview looks at a person holistically, for example understanding that every person has mana which needs to be respected, every person is sacred, every person has potential to be fulfilled and a voice to be heard. Seen correctly, utu is not only about revenge and compensation, but also incorporates the restoration of balance. This reconciliation is achieved through kōrero, respectful listening to each other with support, which may include offering an apology or forgiveness, and which results in mutual ownership of a negotiated outcome.
Heather and Kelli see real value in applying this cultural approach to restorative justice efforts in the justice system, in communities and in education as well as in the context of the Waitangi Tribunal. Such a respectful process is more likely to result in the restoration of people's mana and reconciliation, where the potential outcomes are likely to include increased understanding, respect and tolerance.
He whakaaro horapa te toa Māori i kore ai e whakamana tika ki te ao Māori, ki te āhukahuka rānei i te mahi tahi i waenganui i ngā tāngata me ngā iwi kia mau ki te rongo. Kua whakatewhatewha a Kelli Te Maihāroa me Heather Devere (Te Whare Wānanga o Otago) i te hohou i te rongo, ā, ka puta mai te mahi tahi i tētahi wāhanga ā-pukapuka e pā ana ki te whaihua o ngā whanonga pono taketake hei paremata whakahaumanu i te horopaki o Aotearoa.
Ka whakaarohia te tangata torowhānui e tā te Māori titiro, hei tauira, me whakaute te mana tō ia tangata, he tapu ia tangata, he āheitanga tō ia tangata kia eke, he waha kia whakarongo. Mēnā ka titiro tika, ehara te utu i te mahi ngaki me te utu paremata noa iho, he whakatautika kē. Mā te kōrero, mā te whakarongo ngākau whakautu e whakamārire, mā te tuku whakapāha me te murunga hara, kātahi ka whakaae tahi i tētahi putanga whakariterite.
Ka whakaae tahi a Heather rāua ko Kelli i te whaihua kia whakamahi i tēnei momo mahi ā-ahurea ki ngā mahi paremata whakahaumanu i te pūnaha tika, i ngā hapori, i te ao mātauranga, i ngā horopaki o te Taraipiunara o Waitangi. Mā te whakaritenga whakaute e whakaputa tinga ake i te whakahaumanu i te mana me te whakamārire, ā, ko ngā putanga pea ko te whakamārama pai ake, ko te whakaute, ko te māhaki hoki.