Tauranga men are invited to heal "the taniwha within" through a new domestic violence prevention programme that is centred around meaningful conversations.

The course, dubbed the Tū Kaha Tāne Mana Enrichment Programme, is run in partnership with Tauranga Women's Refuge and would be a personalised experience customised to the needs of each tāne (man).

Programme co-ordinator Ngarongo Ormsby, whose first name fittingly translates to peace, is a trained counsellor has more than 20 years experience in family conflict resolution.

He said the goal of the programme was to heal men's hearts and prevent the domestic abuse cycle continuing by addressing any historical trauma.


"Little boys grow up to be men ... the aim is to go on a hunt for the taniwha within," he said.

The course would take a "strength-based" approach where the focus was on empowering tāne to become the best man they can be instead of dwelling on any shortcomings.

"We're not looking for perfection," Ormsby said.

Entry to the programme worked on a self-referral system where tāne volunteered to take part.

It was important that their spouse or partner was also in the loop and knew the tāne was involved, he said.

The course would have four parts.

The first was a coffee-kōrero where men could have a "no obligation" conversation with Ormsby. The second was "ka whitiwhiti kōrero" where the man received one-on-one counselling with Ormsby.

The third was "tāne roopu kōrero me mahia te mahi mātauranga", a conversation and education segment run in a group session.


The fourth was a "hui a whānau hohou te rongo", a peace-making process with the tāne's hoa rangatira (spouse) and tamariki (children) facilitated by Ormsby.

The last step was "an opportunity to heal some hearts", Ormsby said.

The location of each of the steps was flexible and would vary from coffee shops to community centres, he said.

Tauranga Women's Refuge manager Hazel Hape said the centre often received calls from men who were needing help and support.

"If women are returning to their tāne, it makes sense to work with them too."

She said the programme would be another tool for whānau and an opportunity for men to improve themselves.

"It's not a crisis service or a get-out-of-jail-free card."

To find out more
Contact Tauranga Women's Refuge on 0800 86 73 38 43 or Ngarongo Ormsby on 021 0856 62 89