Visit helps deepen understanding of matauranga Māori

A visit from leading Māori health expert Dr Ihirangi Heke has helped deepen understanding in Murihiku about matauranga Māori and connecting with the taiao (natural world) to improve wellbeing outcomes. 

Dr Heke’s visit to Invercargill to present his Atua Matua framework earlier this month was supported by Active Southland’s Healthy Families Invercargill team and was well attended by a wide range of community representatives, including representatives from local rūnaka, Māori health and social services providers, education, and whānau. 

The framework focuses on traditional Māori knowledge and connection with the natural world, and the role it plays in hauora. 

It was a timely visit, given the momentum being created by another community-led initiative based around matauranga Māori - Te Maara o te Mūranga a Rangi me te Hapori - a community and market garden being created at Aurora College. 

Healthy Families Invercargill Rautaki Māori Metiria Light said having Dr Heke in the south sharing his knowledge and experience had been a wonderful way to bring the community together, help them connect with each other and learn about the importance of the natural world in terms of wellbeing. 

“The Atua Matua framework is a beautiful demonstration of the value of connection, of the value of learning from and being guided by the environment, and of a connection back to our roots,” she said. 

“Having so many people from throughout the community gathering to hear that message and take in that knowledge is such a wonderful way to honour and celebrate our whakapapa, and our connection with the whenua,” Metiria said. 

Article added: Monday 19 December 2022


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