Aro & Hā

Bryre Aish

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Aro & Hā meaning, “Turn to face, share breath.” Aro & Hā utilised design to communicate the complexities of wāhine Māori experiencing domestic abuse to response service workers.

Wāhine Māori (indigenous women of New Zealand) are disproportionately represented in domestic abuse statistics, yet many wāhine have expressed that they feel unsafe approaching response services such as police, WINZ (Work and Income New Zealand), and social workers. Many response service providers fail to understand and empathise with the complex situations of wāhine Māori experiencing domestic abuse.

The project investigated how design can serve to emotively communicate existing research into the contexts of wāhine Māori experiencing domestic abuse to these response service workers. This design project had adopted a reflective inquiry methodology. Through engagement in specific expert feedback, analysing existing research and learning from indigenous perspectives using design.

Through the research findings, Bryre Aish designed and created a storytelling taonga which can be presented by a facilitator to response service workers in a professional development context. This taonga has the potential to be a healing tool, improving the quality of domestic abuse response services for the benefit of wāhine Māori who are seeking help.