First, revive the spirit: a paper for the community development conference 2015 – Unitec, Auckland

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O’Reilly, Denis
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Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
E Tū Whānau Charter of Commitment
whānau ora
Baxter, James K., 1926-1972.
Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau
social capital
O’Reilly, D. (2015) First, revive the spirit: a paper for the community development conference 2015 – Unitec, Auckland, Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 1(1), 65-76. Unitec Institute of Technology. Unitec ePress. Retrieved from:
Following the 2014 General Election, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced that his government is determined to do something about those "doing it tough" - the poor. He considers poverty a long term issue and one that has confronted successive governments but is anxious about the perverse effects of welfare as regards the 'trap' of welfare dependency. He wants to help and also enable people to help themselves. He concedes that providing or being in work is not the answer on its own. This paper examines the principles of community economic development and takes James K Baxter's notions of differing types of poverty, Nga Pohara (the poor), Nga Mokai (the fatherless), Nga Raukore (the trees who have had their leaves and branches stripped away). It argues that if we are to address poverty, first we need to address poverty of spirit. Globally this idea has Friereian elements but here in Aotearoa it especially aligns with the principles of Whānau ora, and in particular an initiative called E Tu Whānau, the by-line of which is Te Mana Kaha o Te Whānau. E Tu Whānau has a particular aim to counter domestic violence but the upside down thinking approach it takes is to eschew pathology and focus on potentiality. In this it seeks to enrol a cadre of community leaders (Kahukura) and using Māori precepts to set in motion a community multiplier that produces social capital to fill the void, counter dysfunction and enable people to enjoy rich fulfilling lives
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