Muslim groups want Kaupapa Māori approach for trauma response support - Davidson

By Talisa Kupenga

Feedback from within the Muslim community indicates that those affected by the Christchurch shootings want a kaupapa Māori approach for trauma response support, Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson says.

Davidson has met with representatives who told her they fear mainstream methods will not be as effective.

"They have seen the work that Māori have led in terms of a kaupapa Māori approach to our own trauma and they know that that is the approach that they need for their communities," she says. "They are scared that they will get a mainstream response to dealing with their trauma and they know that won't work."

Davidson says those she spoke to also commended local iwi Ngai Tahu, saying they found comfort, support and solace in Māori protocols during what was a traumatic time.

"I've had nothing but heartfelt humility and gratitude from Muslim communities for the way we have carried our tikanga and our way of expressing our own grief with them and alongside their families," she says.

"Our haka, our waiata, our karakia, our blessing to remove the hara (violation) that has happened on the whenua, I know that all of those connections are connections they relate to as well."

To date, the number of ACC injury claims stemming from the mosque attacks has risen to 102, more than half of which involve gunshot wounds. 

Meanwhile, weekly compensation claims stand at 35, while mental injury claims for trauma suffered because of the incident, typically PTSD, total 27.

Davidson says, "they're dealing with the trauma of the actual terrorist attack itself, what they saw, what they lived through. They're dealing with the trauma of losing a loved one and the ongoing grief.

"But they're dealing with big, huge, trauma about the fact that they know that there are people that want to kill them and see them dead."

The Christchurch District Health Board says it is being guided by the Muslim community and working together with Imams to tailor responses specific to individuals.