Mihimihi prescribes the process of Whakawhanaunga which is a verbal exchange at a meeting allowing participants to define themselves in terms of relational connectedness.
Whakawhanaunga is often part of Powhiri and seeks to affirm and declare a connection to whanau (family) and to kinship with others with whom a close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationship exists.
Mihimihi also prescribes Whakapapa, during which a person recites his genealogy and his connection to a certain area, defined by its geographical features.
Whakapapa therefore often includes a description of a person's maunga (mountain), awa (river) and moana (sea). A person may also identify his/her waka (ancestral canoe), hapū (sub tribe), iwi (tribe), marae and an eponymous ancestor.
In the clinical environment, Whakwhanaunga is the process of establishing a suitable level of comfortable familiarity and trust between client and service provider, which is crucial to establishing the collaborative substrate required for effective psychodiagnostic and psychotherapeutic engagement.
On a more clinically defined level, it pertains to the development of a thorough psychiatric case history and mental status examination, which would include investigation into the cultural and genetic background of the service recipient.