Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata

What is Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata – Uniting the Threads of Whānau?

Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata draws on the strengths of the whānau ora approach to support Māori and their whānau who are engaged in the Corrections system.

Last updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2024 | Rāapa, 31 Kohitātea, 2024

What's on this page?

Paiheretia is about improving outcomes for whānau Māori to support intergenerational wellbeing, thereby reducing reoffending, victimisation, and imprisonment.  

Paiheretia is part of the Māori Pathways programme, which aims to give effect to the intent and aspirations of Hōkai Rangi, the Ara Poutama Aotearoa (Department of Corrections) strategy to eliminate the over-representation of Māori in the Corrections system through uplifting the oranga or wellbeing of Māori.

Paiheretia also contributes to the strategic intent of Te Pae Tata, the Ministry of Social Development’s Māori Strategy and Action Plan. 

The vision for the strategy is: Whānau are strong, safe and prosperous – active within their community, living with a clear sense of identity and cultural integrity and with control over their destiny – Te mana kaha o te whānau!

Partner agencies

Paiheretia is a jointly led kaupapa between Te Puni Kōkiri, Ara Poutama Aotearoa and Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora– the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), in partnership with Māori. Paiheretia was co-designed with tāne and whānau Māori with experience of the system, hapū, iwi, Māori service providers and hapori Māori.

Paiheretia is about partnering with local Māori communities to:

  • create the conditions for whānau ora through kaupapa Māori and whānau-centred approaches.
  • establish a Kaiarataki Navigator service to support whānau to navigate the Corrections system, to access the services and support they may need, and to maintain positive relationships and cultural connections as a whānau.
  • support the cultural capacity and capability of Corrections frontline practitioners to better engage and support positive whānau outcomes.
  • establish effective integrated service case managers to better support whānau to engage in meaningful employment and other MSD social support services.

Paiheretia is being implemented in Hawke’s Bay and Northland.

Hawke’s Bay was chosen to build on the work already underway at the prison to work in a kaupapa Māori and whānau-centred way.

Te Puni Kōkiri and Ara Poutama Aotearoa have also partnered with Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi to establish a Kaiarataki Navigator service in Hawke’s Bay.

In Northland, the rohe provided different opportunities and recognised the Northland Region Corrections Facility was originally designed to be a kaupapa-Māori facility to support people on their journey towards healing and restoration. This kaupapa presents an opportunity to return to that original vision and realise the promise and potential of the site.

In Northland, Te Puni Kōkiri and Ara Poutama Aotearoa have partnered with Ngāti Hine Health TrustTe Hau Ora o NgāpuhiTe Hā Oranga, and Waitomo Papakāinga Development Society to deliver the Kaiarataki Navigator service.

For further information please email or call 0800 875 663.


What is Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata?

Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata – Uniting the Threads of Whānau – draws on the strengths of the Whānau Ora approach to support tāne Māori who are engaged in the Corrections system and their whānau to develop their own pathways to achieve their aspirations.

It is a kaupapa jointly led by Te Puni Kōkiri, Ara Poutama Aotearoa (Department of Corrections), and Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora (Ministry of Social Development) in partnership with Māori. Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata forms part of the Ara Poutama Aotearoa Māori Pathways programme.

This approach aims to work with both the tāne in the care of Corrections, and their whānau, to build strong, positive relationships, improve intergenerational wellbeing, and reduce reoffending and imprisonment.

Why are you doing it?

The Corrections system is not working, especially for Māori, with disparities in outcomes for Māori getting worse. Paiheretia aims to shift the system to take a kaupapa-Māori and whānau-centred approach. Māori currently make up around half of the prison population, despite being about 16 per cent of the national population.

Where and when is this happening?

Paiheretia is being piloted in Hawke’s Bay and Northland, with a view to extend the approach to other regions and prisons in the future.

Why Hawke’s Bay and Northland?

Hawke’s Bay was chosen to build on the work already being done at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison, to work in a kaupapa Māori and whānau-centred way. This includes Corrections’ wider Māori Pathway work with whānau Māori.

Northland is a region with different needs and aspirations to Hawke’s Bay.  Corrections wanted to pilot the initiative in different environments and learn from the points of difference.

Why are you using a whānau-centred approach in a Corrections setting?

The Whānau Ora Review Report – Tipu Mātoro ki te Ao affirms this unique whānau-centred approach works and results in positive change for whānau as well as creating the conditions for the change to be sustainable.

How can I find out more about Paiheretia te Muka Tāngata?

For further information, please email  or contact 0800 875 663.