"Other" Education Down-Under: Indigenising the Discipline for Psychologists and Specialist Educators


  • Angus Hikairo Macfarlane University of Canterbury, Christchurch


indigenous, Maori, applied psychology, evidence-based, multicultural


Applied psychology, in its modern global context, requires evidence-based, culturally relevant assessment and intervention approaches. New Zealand’s bicultural and multicultural society is attempting to take such steps, in particular within contexts where psychologists and special education professionals work. This paper advocates for inclusive approaches that value and recognise the indigenous “other” and intersect with the everyday culture and lived realities of particular groups and individuals, in a range of authentic ways. Indigenous rights, culturally grounded epistemology, unpacking assessment and intervention processes are each discussed. A conceptual framework is presented for appropriately blended clinical practice and a coherent scientific-indigenous framework.

Author Biography

Angus Hikairo Macfarlane, University of Canterbury, Christchurch

Angus Hikairo Macfarlane Professor of MÄori Research, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He is Director of the Te RÅ« Rangahau: Maori Education Research Lab

See: http://www.mscs.canterbury.ac.nz/people/macfarlane.shtml


Barrington, J. (2008). Separate but equal? MÄori schools and the Crown 1867 - 1969. Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press.

Beane, J. (1997). Curriculum integration: Designing the core of democratic education. New York: Teachers College Press.

Berryman, M., Reweti, M., Woller, P., & Glynn, T. (2009). MÄori language, policy and practice in New Zealand schools: Community challenges and community solutions. In K. Menken & O. Garcia (Eds.), Negotiating language policies in classrooms: Teachers as change agents. New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

Campbell, D. E. (2004). Choosing democracy: A practical guide to multicultural education, (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Cargo, T. (2008). MÄori experiences of delivering the Incredible Years Parenting Programme (Reflections). Retrieved June 27, 2009, from: http://www.werrycentre.org.nz/site_resources/library/Projects/Parent_Mgt_Trng__Incredible_Years/Articles%20and%20Reports/MÄori_Hui_Report_2008.pdf

Champagne, D. (2007). Social change and cultural continuity among native nations. Plymouth, UK: Altamira Press.

Collard, L., & Palmer, D. (1984). Looking for the residents of Terra Australis: The importance of Nyungar in early European coastal exploration. Perth, WA: Murdoch University.

Dionne, R. (2007). Walking the good path: Keeping American Indian children safe from drugs and alcohol. Retrieved September 28, 2012, from: http://www.unified-solutions.org/uploads/walkingthegoodpath.pdf

Dionne, R. (2008). Evidence-based programs in American Indian communities. Washington: Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Durie, M. (1994). Whaiora: MÄori health development. Auckland, NZ: Oxford University Press.

Durie, M. H. (1997). Identity, access and MÄori advancement. In N. T. Curtis, J. H. Howse & L. S. McLeod (Eds.), New directions in educational leadership: The indigenous future. Proceedings of the New Zealand Educational Administration Society Research Conference. Auckland, NZ: Auckland Institute of Technology.

Durie, M. H. (2003). NgÄ kahui pou: Launching MÄori futures. Wellington, NZ: Huia Press.

Durie, M. H. (2007). Alignment of clinical and cultural perspectives: Innovation at the interface. Paper presented to the Manu-Ao Seminar Series. Wellington, NZ.

Elder, H. (2009, July 23). He reo o ngÄ mokopuna. "Inspiring Communities". Presentation to the Child Advocates Conference 2009. Holiday Inn, Wellington, NZ.

Glynn, T. (1998a, February). Bicultural challenges for educational professionals in Aotearoa. Inaugural Lecture, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ.

Glynn, T. (1998b, July). A collaborative approach to teacher development: New initiatives in special education. Paper presented at the 28th Annual Conference, Australia Teacher Education, Hilton on the Park, Melbourne, Australia.

Gomez, N. (2007). Healing hidden wounds. Cultural Survival Quarterly, 31(3), 3-15.

Hammersley, M. (2001, September). Some questions about evidence-based practice in education. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference - Evidence-based Practice in Education, University of Leeds, England.

Herewini, T. & Altena. I. (2009). Incredible Years Marae Based Group. Retrieved 27 June 2009 from: http://www.werrycentre.org.nz/site_resources/library/Projects/Parent_Mgt_Trng__Incredible_Years/Articles%20and%20Reports/IY_Whanau_Group_Evaluation_Report_2009.pdf

Janke, T. (1999). Our culture, our future. A Report on Australian Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights. Sydney, NSW: Frankel & Co.

Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465-491.

Macfarlane, A. (2003). Culturally inclusive pedagogy for MÄori students experiencing learning and behaviour difficulties. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ.

Macfarlane, A. (2004). Kia hiwa rÄ! Listen to culture: MÄori students’ plea to educators. Wellington, NZ: NZCER Press.

Macfarlane, A. (2008, March). Discipline, democracy and diversity: Creating culturally-safe learning environments. Presentation at Taumata Whanonga, Wellington, NZ.

Macfarlane, A., Blampied, N., & Macfarlane, S. (2011). Blending the clinical and the cultural: A framework for conducting formal psychological assessment in bicultural settings. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 40(2), 5-15.

May, S. (2004). Medium of instruction policy in New Zealand. In J. Tollefson & A. Tsui (Eds.), Medium of instruction policies: Which agenda? Whose agenda? (pp 21-41). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Mead, H.M. (2003). Tikanga MÄori: Living by MÄori Values. Wellington, NZ: Huia Publishers.

Merry, S.N., Wouldes, T., Elder H., Guy, D., Faleafa, M., & Cargo T. (2007). Kua whakawhenua te purapura ka puawai te taonga. Addressing the social and emotional needs of infants in Counties Manukau District Health Board. Report commissioned for the Counties Manukau District Health Board, Auckland, NZ.

Milne, M. (2005). MÄori perspectives on kaupapa MÄori and psychology: A discussion document. A report for the New Zealand Psychologists Board. Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Psychological Society.

Ministry of Education. (2002). Te urunga mai o te rÄ: The breaking of the day. The Special Education MÄori Strategy. Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Social Development, (2011). Conduct Problems: Effective Programmes for 8-12 Year Olds, 2011, Wellington, NZ. Ministry of Social Development.

Penetito, W. (1996, December). Te Mataora: An intervention strategy for the development of MÄori teacher education. Paper presented at the annual conference of New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE), Nelson, NZ.

Peterson, R., & Ishii-Jordan, S. (1994). Multicultural issues in the education of students with behavioural disorders. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.

Ramsay, P., Hawk, K., Harold, B., Marriott, R., & Poskitt, J. (1993). Developing partnerships: Collaboration between teachers and parents. Wellington, NZ: Learning Media.

Reedy, T. (1992). MÄtauranga MÄori: Te hurihanga hou – New direction for MÄori education. Wellington, NZ: Reedy Holdings Ltd.

Rogoff, B. (2003). The Cultural Nature of Human Development. New York: Oxford University Press.

Smith, G. H. (1991). In abstentia: MÄori education policy and reform. In Research Unit for MÄori Education Monograph, 4. Auckland, NZ: University of Auckland.

Smith, L. T. (1999). Decolonising methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. Dunedin, NZ: University of Otago Press.

Stavenhagen, R. (2005). Indigenous peoples: An essay on land, territory, autonomy and self-determination. Available online at Land Research Action Network (LRAN) website: http://landaction.org

Te Puni KÅkiri. (1998). Progress towards closing social and economic gaps between MÄori and non-MÄori. Report to the Minister of MÄori Affairs. Wellington, NZ: Te Puni KÅkiri.

Te Puni KÅkiri. (1999). MÄori in the New Zealand economy. Wellington, NZ: Te Puni KÅkiri

Te Rau Matatini, The Werry Centre. (2004). The Proceedings of the Te Rau Tipu MÄori Mental Health Child & Adolescent Workforce Conference. Palmerston North, NZ: Te Rau Matatini.

Walker, R. (1973). Biculturalism in education. In D. Bray & C. Hill (Eds.), Polynesian and PÄkehÄ in New Zealand education: The sharing of cultures (Vol. 1, pp. 110-125). Auckland, NZ: Heinemann.

Winzer, M., & Mazurek, K. (1998). Special education in multicultural contexts. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Zion, S. (2005). Understanding culture: On Point 1. Arizona: National Institute for Urban School Improvement, Arizona University.






Invited papers