Heru Hapai: Rapu Ora, Whai Ora

Antony Thompson - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua: Māori Public Health

Janell Dymus - Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua: Māori Public Health

The objective of this kaupapa is that whanau are able to champion self-wellbeing.

Through this project, we worked alongside Whanau, Hapu and Iwi to construct and support a cultural-shift around physical activity and nutrition. The focus of this is informed by the Atua Matua framework (Heke, Ihirangi[i]).

The Atua Matua Maori Health Framework was initially developed as an attempt to provide a set of environmentally based Māori concepts that could help Māori move from the current deficit mainstream model of health to a Māori ancestral framework. Through this kaupapa, whanau are able to use physical activity and nutrition as a mechanism of connection to the knowings of Te Ao Maori, with Physical activity being but a medium of connection.

The focal point for ‘Rapu Ora, Whai Ora’ Kaupapa will be about changing the perceptions of whanau around engagement in physical activity and nutrition. Through this kaupapa we attempted to assist whanau in recognising their historical connection to the environment, especially as a form that has sustained Māori for centuries. This would mean putting environmental knowledge before that of the individual with health and physical activity becoming incidental outcomes of environmental knowledge.

‘Rapu Ora, Whai Ora’ is about providing whanau with a space to connect to their present day Whakapapa (Whanau, Hapu, Iwi) and using the strength of these eco-systems to provide an opportunity for whanau in the community of Te Awaroa (Helensville) to recognise their ancestral whakapapa (Maunga to Tipuna).  Support from Iwi in this case Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua ensures; tikanga, matauranga, kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga and ahi-kaa are maintained.