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Our name means non-Māori in support

Movements are emerging more powerful than ever to further tino rangatiratanga, constitutional transformation, and Te Tiriti justice. Aotearoa is on the brink of new levels of diversity, with tauiwi of the global majority and tauiwi moana set to outnumber tauiwi pākehā by 2040. At the same time, backlash is ramping up, and our online discourse presents ever more disinformation, abuse, and overwhelm. We believe that Tangata Tiriti (people of the treaty—all tauiwi) have a role to play in addressing racism towards Māori from within our own communities.

Research shows that fact-checking and myth-busting does not work for shifting hearts and minds. While 'calling out' racism has its place, we also need to be equipped to have more effective interactions ‘calling in’ racism by other tauiwi.

Tauiwi Tautoko is an educational intervention, community, and set of techniques to support effective anti-racist conversations. Tauiwi Tautoko trains tauiwi (non-Māori) to tautoko (support) Te Tiriti transformation by challenging anti-Māori racism within tauiwi communities. While our approach is useful in in-person conversations, we focus primarily on addressing anti-Māori racism where it is most toxic - social media and the dreaded comments section - and our volunteers have had major impacts: humanising the ugliest of online spaces, shifting problematic views, and changing the overall public discourse. 


In our formal training, volunteers learn and practise a set of proven strategies from the anti-racist toolkit to ‘call in’ racist comments and gently challenge and change racist views. The techniques we use are informed by years of working with cross-sectoral experts in listening when it's challenging to hear—conflict mediation, therapy, Te Tiriti education, and performance—as well as values-based messaging that can activate progressive values and move people to act to make change. We are also informed by Māori values of aroha, manaakitanga, whanaungatanga, and whakarongo.


Our theory of change is that the more tauiwi who are equipped, confident, and active in listening- and values-based conversations when anti-Māori racism occurs in our spheres of influence, the more softening and shifting of these racist views that stand in the way of a Te Tiriti-based Aotearoa can occur. 


Tauiwi Tautoko started off as a community project to help address anti-Māori racism on the internet, providing a complement to other forms of anti-racist activism by diving into the comments section to change hearts and minds one conversation at a time. ActionStation collaborated with diverse content contributors and advisors to develop a course that equips volunteers with evidence-based tools for transformative conversations. Tauiwi Tautoko keeps the 'tauiwi' principle at its heart—it's meant to be used when you are not the target of the racism you are addressing.

We offer free, public eight-week trainings in the Tauiwi Tautoko approach, with tailored trainings by and for Tauiwi Pākehā and Tauiwi of the Global Majority each year. We also run occasional organisational workshops, where there are shared commitments and aims to support groups to take up this practice to address anti-Māori racism and backlash in their contexts. 


Beyond this formal training, we support alumni so that an ongoing and ever-growing volunteer community committed to Te Tiriti justice and enacting responsibilities as Tangata Tiriti are equipped, confident, and active in this practice. At times, we also collaborate with other organisations and communities on various projects to support Te Tiriti justice. Tauiwi Tautoko is only one form of anti-racist action tauiwi can take, one piece of the broader ecosystem of anti-racist action, and part of the broader movement underway for a Te Tiriti-based future.

The formal eight-week training is offered for free. Organisational trainings are offered on a sliding scale according to the capacity of the organisation, and any funds generated here go directly to funding the free public trainings.  

The advisors, creators, contributors, organisers, and kaitiaki of the Tauiwi Tautoko kaupapa.

Some roles in Tauiwi Tautoko are paid: the delivery teams of formal trainings, our administrator/project manager, and our Community Weaver. Other roles are voluntary: co-leads of the organisation, our tangata whenua advisory, the tauiwi guides, and our co-treasurer.


All of our paid part-time roles are for the ultimate purpose of supporting our ongoing and growing community of volunteers who take action on and offline to apply the Tauiwi Tautoko approach to challenge racism and backlash to Te Tiriti justice. The actual practice, on and offline, is fully voluntary even by those with paid roles for other Tauiwi Tautoko activities.


Tangata Whenua Guidance


Tauiwi Tautoko started in 2018 as a tāngata whenua-led project. Its approach to change-making is also significantly shaped by insight and advice from various Te Tiriti educators.

When Tauiwi Tautoko became independent from ActionStation in 2022, we established a Tāngata Whenua Advisory group for ongoing guidance and accountability, all of whom have been part of creating, supporting, and training in Tauiwi Tautoko at various stages. These wāhine Māori bring incredible experience, perspective, and mana, and have committed to advise Tautoko Tauiwi, for which we are extremely grateful.


The core team meets with this advisory group twice a year and ad hoc, and their guidance steers the direction of the organisation. This has been a powerful new structure that ensures the decisions and developments we are making are accountable to and guided by tāngata whenua at every turn. 


Tauiwi Guidance Group


As of 2023, Tauiwi Tautoko established a second voluntary strategic advisory group made of long-term tauiwi alumni and supporters of Tauiwi Tautoko, who bring special experience, expertise, and commitment to informing big decisions and new directions for the organisation. We are grateful for this further source of insight and resource to enrich and advise the work we do. 


We rely on personal donations and grants to do this work. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported Tauiwi Tautoko financially. 

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