The primary basic for biculturalism in New Zealand is the Treaty of Waitangi a historical document of agreement signed between Maori and the Crown in 1840. The Treaty of Waitangi can provide all New Zealanders, especially those seeking equity, with clear guidance and support to reflect the three Treaty principles of partnership, protection, and participation.
In the New Zealand Association of Counselors code of ethics they make mention to the Treaty of Waitangi. “Counselors shall seek to be inform about the meaning and implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for their work. They shall understand the principles of protection, participation and partnership with Maori”
I feel that protection, participation and partnership should be the keys things that I look at when setting up a bi-cultural practice because it is not only about needs but also it is the right that all Maori and Pakeha have guaranteed to them by the virtue of the treaty of Waitangi.
First I will look at Partnership this is one of the core values in the code of ethics for counselors.
A partnership involves working together with all cultures, understanding differences, working together in separate roles, respecting each other’s values and beliefs, developing strategies and understanding how decisions are made. In order to establish a partnership with a client I need to first establish an awareness of my culture history. I was born in the United States of America and raised in New Zealand. I have parents who were born and raised in New Zealand, I would consider myself to be a New Zealand Pakeha, by taking up this identity, and I am taking up the moral commitments to act in terms of this identity. By not personally claiming to be bi-cultural as a counselor I will be actively committed to working in the sprit of partnership with Maori, responding to the treaty as Pakeha being aware of employing some Maori knowledge into my counseling but I will be aware that I am Pakeha and will be drawing on developed counseling skills.
I feel with all cultures you should firstly take the time to establish and develop trust and rapport when building a partnership. The Concise Oxford dictionary defines rapport as “a close harmonious relationship in which there is a common understanding”. Work to understand the person, take time to listen to them, and to develop personal knowledge of them, through time understanding and skill. Until rapport is establish talk around issues rather that being direct straight away, because going to fast can be offensive to Maori. Body language and non-verbal behaviors are factors to take into account when building rapport with a client, proximity, posture, eye contact and expression. As Geldard D and Geldard K pg339 explains, “Most counselors pay a lot of attention to their clients body language. However as counselors, we need to be very careful about interpreting body language. The only person who can accurately and consistently interprets a person’s body language is the people themselves’’ As Counselors it is important for us to learn what we can from a person body language.
I will also need to develop a professional partnership with other agencies and local iwi. When working with a client who’s needs I can’t meet, as a counselor I have the responsibility to the client to make an appropriate referral, building partnerships with other agencies will help with this.
The concept of protection is about acknowledging and valuing indigenous knowledge, as well as safeguarding Maori cultural concepts values and practices. From the Treaty of Waitangi “The queen of England will protect all Maoris of New Zealand. All the...