Tū Mai

Rongoā Māori
Online Symposium

Wednesday 29th June 2022

About the Symposium

The Tū Mai:  Rongoā Māori Symposium reflects a pivotal time in the recognition of the mana of Rongoā Māori by the health and disability sector in Aotearoa.  This Symposium was inspired through working with the Rongoā Māori community as part of a Health Research Council-funded project, Te Ao Rauropi: Mapping the Biosphere of Rongoā Māori.

The Ministry of Health, Accident Compensation Corporation, the interim Māori Health Authority, Whakauae Research Services and Rongoā communities have partnered to host this Symposium.  We will share current perspectives on the place of Rongoā as a taonga tuku iho in our collective commitment to improve health equity for all New Zealanders. This Symposium will ask:

  • Can mātauranga and Western science safely and respectfully co-exist in a national health and disability framework?
  • What impact have Rongoā Māori services offered by ACC during the past 2 years had on health outcomes and injury recovery for our population?
  • What does the ideal Crown Treaty Partnership look like for Māori in the health and disability arena, and what do we need to overcome the challenges?
  • What does it mean for community and health professionals when hospital administration and Rongoā Māori practitioners come together?

This is an exciting opportunity to look our challenges in the eye and share the wealth of mātauranga we have accrued in recent times about the potential of two worlds working together to forge a better future.

About the Logo  

The logo which we are using for this Symposium was designed for Whakauae by Ngahina Gardiner (Ngā Wairiki, Ngāti Apa, Te Ātihaunui-ā-Pāpārangi) for the Te Ao Rauropi project; a three-year Health Research Council-funded study exploring the depth and breadth of Rongoā Māori. Ngahina, a local Whanganui man, is himself a Rongoā healer, talented tā moko artist and carver. In his kōrero around the whakapapa of his logo design, Ngahina explains that the purple koru represents the interconnection of all things - ngā tāngata, te tai ao, rongoā rākau, mirimiri ngā mea katoa.

The koru also connects us to wairua; purple is the colour of the kumara, a highly regarded food source, and used to whakanoa things tapu. The small green pikopiko depict wairua and wellbeing; they have a relationship with each other and do not follow a defined direction but have many pathways.  The pikopiko also represent new growth and possibilities. The tekoteko in red represent male and female elements in harmony with each other. At the bottom of the design are maunga and awa; grounding us in our environment and to Papatūānuku, she who sustains us.