On Friday 18th March, the Year 13 Health classes of Rangitoto College had the privilege of learning one of the oldest Māori medical practices, Rongoa. Rongoa is a traditional Māori health practice used to heal and treat a variety of physical and mental illnesses. The workshop was conducted by a Māori Practitioner, Emma Haslam. We were able to obtain a better understanding of Māori values and beliefs which promote the physical, social, mental and, most importantly, spiritual aspects of our wellbeing. The main ideas within the Rongoa health practice include: whakapapa (family), wairua (spiritual), mauri (life/energy), karakia (guidance/protection) and tiwawe (movement/healing tool).
We learnt how to create a variety of healing balms that come from the land. These balms include kawakawa balm that has many healing qualities. Finally we were taught the importance of the whenua (the land). We need to look after and protect the land for it to be able to enhance our own well being.

‘Ko au te whenua, ko te whenua, ko au,’ meaning I am the land and the land is me.

Amelia M, Gemma C, and Lily S (Year 13 Health Students)