The Atawhai Kōrero

The Atawhai Kōrero

Atawhai looks to reframe the current way of responding to family violence in primary care. Kōrero about family violence can be many shared moments in time, or wā, within a relationship, underpinned by tika (honesty), pono (truth), and aroha (empathy). Atawhai is realising we do not have to ‘fix the problem’ but be someone whānau can trust to walk alongside supporting opportunities for change. Care is taken so any kōrero is responsive to, and safe for, whānau

Kaitiakitanga and Research Rōpū Atawhai

TE PONO. We strongly believe that Atawhai can generate tangible change with primary care providers, whānau and families working together


TE TIKA. We create a safe space for discussion that upholds mana, manaaki, safety and compassion for one another.


TE AROHANUI. With this arohanui and an unconditional positive regard for others, we can have the confidence, courage – kia maia kia manawanui – to advocate for change.

Our Common Language


The impacts of family violence seriously affect the health and wellbeing of past, current, and future generations. Family violence is complex, there is no simple solution. Sometimes it can be hard to know what to do or how to help.

Atawhai connects primary care providers to local knowledge and resources to prevent violence within the community.


The Atawhai Kōrero creates space in a moment in time to be present, to pause and to breathe. We engage with care-seekers authentically and openly, with compassion and respect. Atawhai generates confidence in knowing how to help and trust in local services and people. We share and learn from our experiences to be helpful for those seeking care.


Atawhai is a korowai of care that supports the journey of providers, whānau and families. We are part of a team that values and looks after one another in this work. Atawhai is a kete of local information, people and tools that enable us to journey safely with whānau and family. Atawhai is a call to action to support primary care providers in responding to family violence through policy and practice.

Read about the New Zealand health system response to family violence over the last two decades

Learn how to provide women-centred clinical care though the World Health Organisation LIVES approach (Listen, Inquire, Validate, Enhance safety and Support)

Discover primary care family violence training opportunities with MEDSAC

Find out about the New Zealand Ministry of Health Violence Intervention Programme

Read New Zealand guidelines on responding to family violence in health care

Explore the New Zealand Primary Health Care Family Violence Responsiveness Evaluation Tool