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To create new futures we must also restore the past; we cannot ignore it.

This time of global disruption has focused many of us on the urgent need for systems change to create a future in which people and the planet can thrive. That has led a small group in Aotearoa New Zealand to explore how to bring healing and restoration into the process of changing our systems. The group is now ready to test and evolve Haumanu, an emerging approach to restorative systems change which draws on mātauranga Māori and new developments in science around healing trauma to guide us towards a place of mauriora. It incorporates insights from Theory U, Thomas Hubl’s work on healing collective trauma in places as diverse as Bangladesh and Germany, and from the wisdom passed down from our collective tupuna or ancestors. The Haumanu approach is designed to guide the creation of new worlds from and with mauri, leading to a place of mauriora.

CSI associates, Louise Marra, Tuihana Ohia, Kate Cherrington and Rachael Trotman, have participated in the development of Haumanu. They are now developing a kete of Haumanu resources including tools, processes and practices, and inviting others interested in working for transformation at deeper levels to join a community of practice to continue to explore the possibilities of the Haumanu approach.

“We are working on how to make restoration an integral feature of systems change,” Louise says. “The trauma of the past affects our present and future. We see this play out in families, neighbourhoods, communities and nations. Trauma that is pushed down or ignored will keep repeating through the generations and gets threaded through our systems. Acknowledging and working with the injustices of the past, and how this trauma shows up in the present to be healed, must be an integral part of systems work. The question of how to do that lies at the heart of Haumanu.”

The Haumanu framework starts to show how bringing restoration into the work of systems change involves changing the way we meet, relate, work, design and learn together. All levels of the framework are interconnected, with the fundamental elements of the framework on the left-hand side and the core strategies for each layer on the right.

A recording of a May 2022 webinar on Haumanu is available below, and a presentation powerpoint is available here.

A more extensive article on the Haumanu framework is available here.