Te Manu Kai I Te Matauranga: Indigenous Psychology in Aotearoa /New Zealand brings together the perspectives of 18 Maori psychologists as they deal with the case of Ripeka, a young woman facing mental health challenges. Co-edited by Dr Waikaremoana Waitoki and Dr Michelle Levy, the book allows the authors to approach varying elements of Ripeka's care and provides vivid insight into Maori psychological practice.
Dr Waitoki says Te Manu Kai I Te Matauranga is the fulfillment of a long held vision for Maori practitioners, researchers and teachers of psychology to claim their space within the discipline of psychology. Within this book we implicitly challenge the notion that we must reside solely within the western space and forgo our indigenous knowledge base. Many of the authors have been in practice for over 20 years - all activists and warriors within psychology.
Dr Levy says a distinct culturally defined space for Maori is absent within psychology. Not only is it absent, there continues to be active resistance to the validity and legitimacy of indigenous peoples' knowledge bases within psychology. While providing invaluable information for psychology students and academics, the book will appeal to a broad audience offering insights to those dealing with mental health issues.
One of the chapter authors Dr Simon Bennett, a senior lecturer at Massey University, believes the book has both national and international significance.This book is hugely significant for indigenous aspirations in the psychology discipline because an indigenous voice, let alone a Maori voice, within the psychology literature has until now been at best fragmented. This book unifies diverse indigenous perspectives and is likely to be recognised internationally.