chapter  10
12 Pages

Institutional racism as a seminal concept of cultural competency training


This chapter explores the historical context of race relations in Aotearoa New Zealand and discusses the issues and concerns related to the negative statistics for Maori people. It provides an overview of how Suman Fernando's work has relevance in advocating and advancing indigenous approaches to working with Maori within the mental health system in Aotearoa. Fernando's work in particular has provided important perspectives on the power dynamics of both the systems and the individual within those systems to affect better outcomes for ethnic diversity. His work on the analyses of the complex relationships between the dominant culture and the "other", the power of the state, the role of professionals and clinicians and institutional and individual racism provide pertinent lessons in Aotearoa New Zealand. Fernando's analysis of the background to racism in mental health is as relevant in New Zealand as it is in the United Kingdom or North America.