Rongoā Māori – Traditional Māori healing
Rongoā Māori is informed by a body of knowledge that has as its core the enhancement of Māori wellbeing. In this way, rongoā Māori differs from a Western medical paradigm, whose focus is principally the absence of health and wellbeing and treatments/interventions to return to a state of health.
Rongoā Māori traditional healing is formulated in a Māori cultural context, in which the understanding of events leading to ill health and its impacts are addressed through a range of culturally bounded responses. These responses include rakau rongoā (native fauna herbal preparations), mirimiri (massage) and karakia (prayer).
The Ministry of Health works with Māori traditional healing practitioners to support rongoā Māori within the health and disability sector. For a number of years the Ministry has discussed with rongoā whānau – including traditional healers, Māori health providers and iwi – the role that traditional healing has with mainstream services.
In December 2011, a new national rongoā governance body – Te Kāhui Rongoā Trust – was established to protect, nurture and promote rongoā Māori. Its seven interim trustees are working to have the trust fully operational by June 2012.
For more information about Te Kāhui Rongoā Trust, go to to Rongoā Māori website.