Conflict Zen Blog by Tammy Lenski

Whakawhanaungatanga is a Maori process for establishing relationships. In the following interview I explore the tradition, identity, trust-building, and conflict resolution with New Zealanders Hilary Unwin and Pereri Hathaway.

A few weeks ago I published a post about the value of shared experience for increasing empathy during conflict situations. After I published that post, New Zealand Human Rights Commission mediator Hilary Unwin wrote me about a Maori tradition called whakawhanaungatanga, which is a process for establishing relationships.

Whakawhanaungatanga is a way for Maori to discover connections between themselves and the people they’re talking to. Hilary told me that she uses it in some of her mediation work to establish a mood of trust and openness at the start of a mediation.

The result of that email exchange was a conversation with Hilary and Pereri Hathaway, senior administrator with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. Pereri, who is Maori, helps the Commission work with indigenous peoples in New Zealand and provides support for indigenous peoples there and around the world.

They were kind enough to let me record the interview to share with you here.


Tammy Lenski

Dr. Tammy Lenski helps individuals, pairs, teams, and audiences navigate disagreement better, address friction, and build alignment. Her current work centers on creating the conditions for robust collaboration and sound decisions while fostering resilient personal and professional relationships. Her conflict resolution podcast and blog, Disagree Better, are available at https://tammylenski.com/archives/… MORE >

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