Whānau Hauā: Reframing Disability From an Indigenous Perspective
Mäori directly or indirectly experience disability at a higher rate than any other population group in Aotearoa New Zealand. Despite one in three Mäori having some form of disability, Mäori have less access to support and health and disability services. Currently, gaps exist in knowledge related to Mäori and disability, and this is not helped by disabled Mäori being excluded from health and disability policy and service planning forums. With regard to disability frameworks, the medical model and the social model are the predominant northern hemisphere approaches to working with disabled persons. These models view disability in an individualised manner that is not relevant for many Indigenous disabled persons whose worldview is holistic, relational and collective in nature. In this paper, we critically examine current approaches to working with disabled Mäori and their experiences as Indigenous disabled persons before presenting Whänau Hauä as an alternative Indigenous approach to disability.