Kanohi ki Kanohi

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KANOHI KI KANOHI (Face to face mediation process)


Ko taku i konei hei whakaruruhau, hei whakamarumaru i a koutou katoa, Tinana mai, Wairua mai.

The practice, wisdom, knowledge and the maramatanga of Te Ao Tawhito (the old world) that comes with “Kanohi ki te kanohi” should result in a safe and successful outcome for all concerned.

The Kanohi ki te Kanohi Maori guidelines for debate and resolve (Professor Taiarahia Black, June 2005) is based on the very principles of Te Ao Tawhito (the old Maori World) and can or should be used by today’s leaders. It is an approach that is inculcated with tikanga (customary principles). The importance of kanohi ki te kanohi is the effort that is made to meet and hear the comments openly and constructively from each other. The nine principles are as follow:




1. He Tangata: kanohi ki kanohi is based on the principal that people are more important than the things we have done and achieved. The method of communication is vitally important i.e. open, supportive, all encompassing and inclusive.


2. Mauri and Wairua: kanohi ki kanohi recognizes the uniqueness and importance of the individual. Personal contact is important, and includes keeping an open door policy to discuss ideas and suggestions and recognize the latent talent and enhance it.


3. Manaakitanga: kanohi ki kanohi ensures people should feel comfortable to see and discuss matters of concern attributed to the position to foster the direction of the kaupapa (purpose) and to provide individual support.


4. Kia tu, kia aho: the kanohi ki kanohi position is essentially about the commitment to provide knowledge and experience, to enhance and develop people and the kaupapa. The objective is to seek success regardless of the background by stimulating thinking and to think positively on ways to achieve a successful outcome.


5. Whakawhanaungatanga: kanohi ki kanohi emphasizes the importance of cooperation, observation, creation of relationships, networks and demonstration of sincerity for the individual and the kaupapa. It is important to articulate aspirations for development and recognize different realities and accept the principals of these realities.


6. Rangatiratanga: kanohi ki kanohi is about gaining confidence through displaying qualities of cultural integrity, generosity, humility, positive information sharing, the use of empowering comments, the facilitation and generation of good ideas, the recognition of a resourceful individual and to understand, support and display people’s skills and ideas.


7. Mana: kanohi ki kanohi is about maintaining balance and harmony through a process of give and take which includes compromising position and ideas, not being dogmatic in approach, considering the welfare of the individual, and the goals and wider community aspirations.


8. Kaitiakitanga: kanohi ki kanohi acknowledges the mauri (essence) of the resource and individual and ensures best management practices. It ensures the safety of the individual and the kaupapa. It starts from the premise of what is important to the individual and builds around that.


9. Kanohi ki Kanohi is about being Maori-centric, rather than drawing on comparisons. The approach to use is one that takes into account the values of the individual.



This method of approach was inculcated (impressed on me) with Tikanga (customary principals). The importance of Kanohi ki Kanohi is the effort that is made to meet and hear the comments of each participant openly and constructively from each other. These principles or guidelines were constructed at a kanohi ki kanohi class during a te reo korero class at Massey tutored by Professor Taiarahi Black.



These tikanga are the basis of my Maori world view and were handed down from my tupuna. The beliefs and values that have guided me throughout my life are based on these teachings. Adding the knowledge of my whakapapa to these teachings have and will always guide my values and beliefs that both I and my children will always know who we are. Ko wai matou? (who are we?) and no hea matou? (where we originate from?).


Written by John White

Based on work of Turoa Haronga and Professor Taiarahi Black June 2005

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