A new directory is helping to increase whānau accessibility to Ōtautahi Māori healers, and Māori well-being practitioners.
The directory was launched at the Whānau Whakaora expo held at the North New Brighton Community Centre in December 2018. The expo was host to a number of local Māori healers, and well-being practitioners including yoga, tai chi, tāonga pūoro (traditional Māori instruments), Māori traditional games, raranga (weaving) and Māori small business.
All Right? Mental Health Promoter Vaea Coe says the directory is the first of its kind in the South Island.
“It’s about having access to Māori knowledge and ways of being,” says Coe.
“We want whānau to have access to a range of Māori service and activity providers that they can connect to that has value and meaning for them.”
Some 500 copies of the directory were printed before Christmas and all have now found their way into the community. A reprint, which will include an extended range of services, is now underway.
Coe says mainstream medicine is now picking up on the directory and a practitioner based at Rehua Marae had already received her first referral from a Christchurch general practitioner.
The holistic approach to wellbeing taken by traditional Māori healers takes into account every aspect of one’s being. A traditional practice such as raranga, for example, can support mental, spiritual, physical and whānau wellbeing.
“It’s about reconnecting people to our culture practices and the environment and understanding why that is important to us.” says Coe.
Coe says the aim is to grow the directory further this is just the beginning.
The Ōtautahi Māori Health Services Directory was created by All Right? with support from Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu and ‘Tū Pono - Te Mana Kaha o te Whānau.