Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG: world-first and best of three worlds

Published: October 8, 2021

Pae Whakatupuranga | Functional Family Therapy – Cross Generations (FFT-CG) weaves together international, tikanga and whakaaro Māori, and Pasifika approaches to support families, whānau and aiga in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Pae Whakatupuranga Attendees at the launch 4

When a family with experience of the justice system is supported to make positive change, they can play a huge part in preventing their rangatahi from entering or staying in the system.

Providing that support is at the heart of a unique partnership between Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai, Oranga Tamariki, New Zealand Police, and Ara Poutama Aotearoa Department of Corrections. Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG weaves together three distinct approaches to give people working with families, whānau and aiga in Tāmaki Makaurau the cultural understanding and skills they need to have a positive impact. The uniqueness of Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG has been confirmed in a recently published literature review and its progress is being tracked by the Evidence Centre.

A truly unique blend having a positive impact

Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG blends together three adaptations of Functional Family Therapy (originating in the United States) with Whaitake Whakaoranga Whānau, and the Uputāua Pan-Pacific Cultural Framework.

Whaitake Whakaoranga Whānau intends to foster the wellbeing of the entire whānau and ensures that whānau experience therapy that is respectful of and consistent with Māori values, processes, and culture. Uputāua Pan-Pacific Cultural Framework was developed by Dr Byron Seiuli. It has Samoan foundations and includes Pacific values, protocols, and worldviews. Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG also features extra aspects that address the needs of a wider range of children, adolescents, and emerging adults. It is an internationally unique combination of clinical and cultural approaches and one we can be proud of being part of, notes Phil Dinham, Director Youth Justice System Development.

“Getting entangled in any justice system is not a good thing. While youth offending in New Zealand is on a downward trajectory, among those staying in the system both Māori and Pasifika youth are consistently over-represented. We are also seeing too many young people with family members who have also gone through the youth and adult systems. With Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG, we have an opportunity to reduce that inter-generational exposure. For the first time we are starting to strengthen such whānau affected by crime by drawing on incredible thinking and insight from the international, Māori, and Pacific communities.

“All three of these approaches are well-tested and it has been exciting to see them come together to create something so specific to New Zealand. We are grateful to all the people and organisations involved that have been so respectful of each other’s approaches and knowledge, while at the same time being willing to allow their mahi and world views to be drawn upon. Most importantly, since its launch in 2019, the programme has already had a positive impact on dozens of families,” said Phil.

Innovation at the interface

A literature review was commissioned from Whakauae Research for Māori Health and Development in partnership with Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai and Oranga Tamariki in order to place the delivery of Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG within the wider context of theory and practice in Aotearoa. The authors reviewed information about Functional Family Therapy, Functional Family Therapy in New Zealand, Māori mental health, Pacifica mental health, the intergenerational cycle of criminality, and the Western/Indigenous/non-Western interface.

Their mahi confirmed that the literature – as well as the current social and political context – support the development of Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG as an essentially tri-cultural model that is both unique and timely.

Read the Literature Review and the Evidence Centre evaluation updates published so far.

About Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG

Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG is the culmination of a partnership between Youth Horizons | Kia Puāwai, Functional Family Therapy LLC, Oranga Tamariki (who fund the programme under its Reducing Youth Offending programme of work), Ara Poutama Aotearoa Department of Corrections and the New Zealand Police. It supports tamaiti and rangatahi aged 0-24 years to reduce their involvement with the New Zealand justice system, alongside their family, whānau and aiga and has been in pilot since 2019.  Young people can be referred to the programme by Te Ara Poutama, Police or Oranga Tamariki.

If you are interested in learning more about Pae Whakatupuranga | FFT-CG please contact