Reading time
1 min
December 14, 2021

The impact of reducing whānau harm

A SROI evaluation of Whiria Te Muka

An SROI is a Social Return On Investment evaluation. It follows the same logic as a conventional Return on Investment approach, but extends the scope of beneficiaries and stakeholders to all parties who have been impacted by a programme. It also extends the idea of a "return" to capture non-financial benefits and costs.

Whānau harm historically in New Zealand has been treated primarily from the Te Ao Pākeha perspective of retributive justice. Whiria Te Muka offers an alternative, derived from a Te Ao Māori perspective.

The programme is led by Te Hiku Development Trust and operates in Northland. The central idea behind Whiria Te Muka is to help prevent and reduce whānau harm by weaving together the strands of police and iwi.

On the ground, the strategy is to respond to a whānau harm incident with both a police response (to ensure safety and represent the law), as well as an iwi response.

'Iwi mana gets us in the door, police bring the legitimacy of the law.'

At a higher level, the programme is building models of partnership between police and iwi.

The impact of Whiria Te Muka in Northland is evident to staff at Whiria Te Muka, who see the changes in communities daily. But Te Hiku Development Trust needed a way to describe and evidence this impact to wider stakeholders that was robust and defensible.

BERL worked with Whiria Te Muka to understand the context and needs. We concluded that a Social Return on Investment methodology would be appropriate.

Our evaluation found that for every dollar invested in Whiria Te Muka, outcomes valued at $4.07 are returned to stakeholders. Te Hiku Development Trust have released our report on their website here.