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Toi Hauora provides teaching, research and supervision expertise in Māori health and wellbeing at Te Pūtahi a Toi School of Māori Knowledge, Massey University. Over the next few weeks they’ll be supporting us with a hauora approach to COVID-19.
Improving Māori health and wellbeing is key to shaping the social, political and economic future of Aotearoa. Philosophies such as Ako (Māori teaching and learning pedagogy), Āta (Māori relationship building), mātauranga (Māori bodies of knowledge), Kaupapa Māori (Māori research methodologies), tikanga (Māori values), te reo (Māori language), and Te Tiriti o Waitangi guide our understanding of hauora. We explore strategies for the advancement of Māori health and wellbeing with a focus on the link between Māori health strategies and positive Māori development, and the construction of effective and innovative health strategies for iwi, hapū, whānau and community.
For more information contact:
Felicity Ware MA
The public health response to COVID-19 has centred on reducing physical contact and hygienepractices to reduce spread of infection. Tapu is another way that we can understand and implement healthful practices.
How can we maintain balance in our hauora during this pandemic?
The initial public health response to COVID-19 focussing on tinana (physical health) might make us feel temporarily out of balance. Using a Māori model of health and wellbeing, such as Te Whare Tapa Whā, can help us to consider our whole being.
The COVID-19 illness includes respiratory symptoms. A Māori understanding of our connection to air can be sourced from pūrākau (narratives) about Tāwhirimātea, atua (primal energy source) of hau (wind and weather).
How can we be like Māui to change, adjust and transition during this time?
Daylight savings signals a change of time in the Gregorian calendar. Farewelling Hine Raumati and welcoming Hine Takurua also signals a shift in season. This is a time to ensure crops are stored, people are resting and communities are preparing for the colder, darker months ahead. For Māori changes, adjustments and transitions are not new.
Whānau have long been recognised as the crucial change agent for positive Māori development and for realising Māori health and well-being. It is within our whānau that we transmit and uphold the values of our tūpuna, that we can foster confidence and pride, and that we learn about who we are. Having an enforced period in our bubble presents an opportunity for us to reflect as a whānau and could be timely to conduct a whānau ora health check.
The approach to COVID-19 taken in Aotearoa to isolate at home has resulted in almost eliminating transmission of the virus. We are now working towards returning to business activities, schooling, cultural activities, socialising and a new reality. Expanding our bubbles, continuing tapu and public health practices such as physical distancing and hand washing, and maintaining the gains that have occurred in both the natural environment and within our minds, hearts and homes, would benefit from a Māori approach.
The pūrākau of the separation of Rangi and Papa, provides some guidance on how we might work together to successfully move through the cycle of regeneration from Te Kore, to Te Pō to Te Ao Mārama to a renewed state of flourishing or mauri ora.
We whakapapa to the experts of change and transition (‘Māui the shape shifter’). We have narratives that guide regeneration. Notwithstanding the devastation that unemployment will have on parts of our communities in the months to come, where we work no longer matters. But access to technology will, and so the implications are exciting.
Page authorised by Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Māori
Last updated on Monday 25 May 2020