Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs

New for 2015: Te Waiwaia 200-Hour Traditional Māori Healing Program at Kawai Purapura


Māori have a strong affinity and connection with the earth, sky & sea. The whakapapa (genealogy) of Māori people shows just how close the relationship is.

The connection Māori have between people and place is one that many cultures have struggled to hold on to and as a result there has been a shift to re-discover and seek out pathways to rebuild that long lost relationship.

This course has been designed to share a pathway to healing, to spiritual reconnection, to realign oneself inward and outward.

First intensive starts January 2015.

Te Waiwaia Maori Healing masthead v1 72 Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs


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Māori Wisdom Keepers will guide you on an immersion in tikanga (cultural ways) and the application of these practices – introducing traditional ways of healing and strengthening the mind, body and soul.

This is a practical course. You will learn to carve, to weave, to make herbal remedies, to create an instrument and play it, to heal with your hands and bodies, and go on a sacred journey.

Through all your journeying and crafting you might encounter and experience a new shaping that is compelling and profound. The shaping of Māoritanga.


te Rongoa 250px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs

On the Rongoā Māori module you will learn about the genealogy of native plants, to identify aliments and recommended healing modalities for the whānau – family.

Rongoā Māori is a ancient traditional integrated healing system. Matauranga Māori – Māori Wisdom knowledge was passed on by direct transmission orally i.e. chanting, karakia – invocation. There are diverse tribal practices which are specific to the geographical location. i.e. forest, coastal, lakes and mountains. Wairuatanga – Wisdom knowledge is the foundation which encompasses herbal remedies, body therapies and spiritual practices. Native Plant remedies known as Rongoa Rākau provide the herbal pharmacy from which skin aliments, urinary tract, digestive and circulatory remedies are used to assist the holistic healing process. 


raranga 01 300px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsOn the Raranga /weaving module you will be given the tools to start your own creative and healing journey with harakeke. These tools will consist of learning how to harvest harakeke correctly and safely, learning the fundamental tikanga of working with flax and then make and create a few precious taonga to give away and share with your friends and whanau.

Raranga: Traditionally Maori people have utilised the flax bush for many things – the versatility of harakeke was thoroughly explored – from weaving mats and baskets to making medicine, from the leaves to the roots all parts of the bush was used. The whenu (leaves) for weaving various items, the muka (inner fibre) for rope and cord making and intricate garments and even the root and gum for medicine & remedies – it is a hugely resourceful plant, these days flax is mainly used to for its weaving. The practice and art form of weaving is an integral part of Maori culture, and has been one of the many ways Maori have passed on traditional knowledge and practices. 


The Whakairo module covers the fundamentals of working with greenstone, and will create aToki, a greenstone chisel with bound handle.   Toki Te Kaha Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs

Participants will learn traditional Maori history, both metaphysical and material, while creating a fully functional greenstone chisel with bound handle. This instrument was not only a carving tool but also a taonga (treasure) of great prestige. Students will also be taught a waiata (song) and Takutaku (prayer) while creating by hand a  toki pounamu (greenstone chisel). The vision of this workshop is to enable the students to interact on all levels in the creation of a usable, wearable art piece.


te Mirimiri 360px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs

The Mirimiri and Romiromi module explains the physical therapies used in Traditional Rongoa Māori healing, combining Deep Tissue and Energy Bodywork. They work on the physical and emotional body. You will also explore Mahi aa pona for opening the joints, Koomirimiri for relieving tensions and  antenatal care, and Rau miri – leaf branch massage.

Mirimiri is a therapeutic massage that works deeply on spiritual layers to balance the vibration of the body. It is the support of Romiromi. Romiromi is a stronger practice that works on the deeper layers of the body to activate the cellular memory for release of anything that doesn’t serve you. Elbows and arms are used more than the hands and occasionally pounamu (greenstone) for deep release work. 

Taonga Puoro 200px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs

Facilitated by Richard Nunns and Brian Flintoff, the Taonga Puoro module provides the opportunity to participate in both the making of and also learning to play several instruments – in particular the koauau, porotiti and the purerehua. Participants will also to learn to recognise plants that can be used as bird callers. Materials for the construction of your own Taonga will be available for purchase onsite.

Taonga Puoro were revived over the past thirty years by Hirini Melbourne, Richard Nunns and Brian Flintoff. The instruments previously fulfilled many functions within Māori society including a call to arms, dawning of the new day, communications with the gods and the planting of crops. They are significant in sacred ritual and also fulfill a story-telling role. Many of the sounds of the instruments and tunes are imitations of the sounds of nature, including the wind, the seas and the natural world of birds and insects.

Brian is Richard’s primary instrument maker and author of Taonga Puoro Singing Treasures. 

Waihou 360px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsOn the Sacred Journey module you will contribute service to the creation of an eco-sustainable marae. You will also visit several waters (rivers) to enliven your ‘waiwaia – spirit waters’. Some, perhaps all of you will experience a quickening, a moment when something dawns in your heart mind. These will be opportunities to capture those moments in ‘wai-ata -dawning light songs’ that you can return with and pass forward to others.

Sacred Journey: Te Wai Hou, Te Wai Hanga – The New Water, The Creation Water. Our journey is to do with Wai which means ‘water’, ‘song’ and ‘spirit’. ‘Hou’ means ‘new’. “Hanga’ is ‘to create’, ‘to build’. Wai is the holder of all memories. It is a journey to expand into your ‘waiwaia – spirit beauty’.


The 200-Hour course runs as a 20-day intensive in January 2015, plus over 10 WEEKENDS from April to September, 2015. You may start the course at four entry points. Weekend modules are just $395 (and there are discounts for forward booking of the whole course).

Time-payment options are available to those with suitable references. Contact Roz for details.


The Te Waiwaia Teachers

Each person has been chosen for their depth of understanding of Māori culture, along with their expert knowledge and ability to impart their wisdom.

Module 1: Four days

Rongoa with Ngaronoa Renata, Ngapuhi ki Whaingaroa

Ngaronoa portrait 150px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsNgaronoa’s whanau returned to their ancestral whenua in the Whangaroa Harbour when she was 13 years old. The proud totara tree welcomed the whanau to her grandmother’s whare in Kaeo -Mangaiti. The healthy manuka burned brightly in nanny’s wood stove. Her whaea – Doreen May Renata was her cultural teacher and spiritual guide. A spiritual warrior of a different generation. Ngaronoa was constantly in wānanga with her whaea, who planted her wisdom knowledge of Papatuanuku (Mother Earth) and the forest lore – (Nga tamariki o Tane Mahuta) as a waiata with no end to the verses in her ngakau (heart).

It was during that seven year period 1985-1992 while Ngaronoa was hapu (pregnant) with her own children that she most receptive to her whaea’s vast matauranga of the Rongoa of Tangaroa, Te Māra o Tangaroa, Te Pataka o Tangaroa, Tane Mahuta (forest lore) and Pre-European Spirituality. It was at the time of the first bird song – Te Puao that she treasures most as a time to absorb – that is the time of RONGO (A). Her father – Nuki Aldridge who lives on Rataroa – Pupuke valley harvests the kumarahou and manuka honey from ancestral land for her Rongoa journey. It is Ngaronoa’s time to share this vast mātauranga.

Module 2: Four days

Mirimiri and Romiromi with Atarangi Muru

Atarangi Muru portrait 150px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsAtarangi is Māori Healer. Her name translates as ata dawn rangi light. Her passion for the Māori healing arts was first ignited by her elders. Today she helps people return to the dawning light that is at the core of their cells to reignite the memory of wellness and joy. She is affiliated to the Ngati Kuri, Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa tribes and was raised in the small, remote, coastal community of Ahipara.

Her healing training started at an early age as it did for many others in those times. Being taught at the knees of many Kuia (Elder women) and Koroua (Elder men) is the traditional method. To complement her healing inheritance Atarangi has also expanded her learning by attending trainings with Papa Joe Delamere and has been on the advisory board at the NZ College of Massage.

Module 3: Four days

Taonga Puoro with Richard Nunns and Brian Flintoff

Richard Nunns portrait 150px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsDr Richard Nunns QSM is a living authority on Nga Taonga Puoro (Māori traditional musical instruments). He has been described as one of New Zealand’s most remarkable musicians. His thorough and sensitive research has provided a wealth of information around the sounds, history and stories of these taonga, ensuring their preservation for future generations.

Nunns was born in 1945 in Napier. As a teacher in his late 20s, living in the Waikato, he helped build a marae which fuelled his interest for Māori culture. At the time, he was a jazz musician. For many years he performed with Hirini Melbourne (1949–2003), playing traditional Māori instruments. Together, they researched these instruments, which had not been played for over a century, as their use went out of tradition in the 1900s. For many of the instruments, which were still on display in museums, it wasn’t even known what technique was used to play them. They are credited with reviving this part of Māori culture.

brian flintoff flute maker Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs

Brian Flintoff

Since Melbourne’s death, Nunns is regarded as the world’s foremost authority on Māori instruments. He was bestowed an honorary doctorate by Victoria University of Wellington in 2008 for his contributions to Tāonga Puoro. In the 2009 Queen’s Birthday honours Nunns was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for services to Taonga Puoro. Later that year he and Melbourne were jointly inducted in the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame. Nunns has also received a Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, received a Citation for Outstanding Services to Music by the Lilburn Trust (2007); a Citation for Services to New Zealand Music by the Composers Association of New Zealand (2001); and Te Whaiao: Te Ku Te Whe Remixed won Best Māori Album (2008).

Module 4: Four days

Raranga / Weaving with Whetu-Iti Doreen Silver, Ngapuhi ki Whaingaroa

Whetu Silver portrait 150px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsWhetu grew up around the pa harakeke, the experiences growing up in and around this strong native plant has not only informed the way she works with it but also the way in which she shares it with others. Her elders sat in raranga circles creating taonga with flax and this is a tradition that she continues to practise with her whanau and fellow weavers. Whetu will navigate this transformational journey of mahi raranga with you and share some of the on-going learning of working with flax.

From kete to wearable arts, Whetu has had the opportunity to learn amongst great weavers within her whanau and in tertiary study. She is a true believer that mahi raranga is a tool to unlock, to explore, to discover your creative expression – it is a time for healing and rejoicing.

Module 5: Two daysTe Kaha Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing Programs

Whakairo / Carving Pounamu with Te Kaha

Te Kaha is one of New Zealand’s most influential and respected contemporary pounamu carvers.

The artist has been working with greenstone for the past two decades and his respect for the stone is obvious both in the way he works and in the beauty of the finished product.

Te Kaha’s creations display a fluidity of form and line more commonly seen in early hand-made examples of pounamu carving – especially Hei Tiki and Hei Matau. He believes that understanding pounamu is both a learned and inherited ability and his work over the past couple of decades means that he has honed his knowledge and skill into a fine art.

“The work I do with Pounamu involves translating a thought, a whakaaro, into a Taonga (Treasure). I work the Pounamu as did my tipuna, to hold the energy, the essence of the concept within the design.” Te Kaha

Module 5: Two days

Sacred Journey with Makuini Ruth Tai

Ruth Tai portrait 150px1 Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsMakuini, Rich Earth Orator, Kai-tiaki Pa Manawa (Heart Haven Custodian), Kai-ara-hi (Sacred Journey Guide), was raised beneath Putauaki mountain in Kawerau. Her upbringing was influenced by her mother’s Tuwharetoa, Ngati Awa and her father’s Tuhoe Potiki, Ngati Raka and Ngati Awa iwi (bone connections). From the time of her conception she breathed the wisdom of her elders as they bathed the children in the songs, dances, crafts, rituals, prayers, laughter, crying, the fullness of love and nurturing within the extended family.

In 1990 she left her profession as a teacher and lecturer and began a journey alongside master teachers. This journey expanded her insights into human potential through quantum physics, whole brain learning, sacred psychology, the science of Reiki, spiritual commerce, spiritual ecology, permaculture design, haka for life and ancient wisdom teachings of other indigenous people. Today her heart knowing is that these teachings are the same as those practised by her elders. They are Universal Laws or Generalised Principles that apply to all life. During this time she also partnered her husband in his building construction business and assisted Renaissance Aoteroa Foundation design, create and test tools for ‘How To Build A Village”.

Makuini is now helping to guide the design and build process for an eco-sustainable marae complex that enlivens the values of a traditional Pa Manawa (Heart Haven). Guided by the REO – Rich Earth Oratory of Nuku (Nature) her insights into Aroha Light Language are deepening. Word of mouth sharing continues to draw international requests for her services as a Kai-ara-hi (Sacred Journey Guide). An engaging and inspiring speaker Makuini boldly explores the realms of the sacred to demystify universal truths.

Course Structure

A typical day on the 200-Hour program will run from 8:00am until 6:30pm. Some modules may decide to benefit from an extra hour or two into the evening. Participants who complete all 5 modules will receive a 200-Hour Certificate.

The 200-Hour can also be seen as a foundation course for a planned 500-Hour Diploma which will be available in 2015.


Below are some writings from Makuini’s book He Taonga Whakahirahira – Treasures That Energise.


tanes tokotoko 250px Te Waiwaia: Traditional Māori Healing ProgramsKia maumahara ki tou mana ahua ake.

Cherish your absolute uniqueness.

(Mana refers to power, charisma, prestige, pride. Each person has their own personal mana.)


Me whakaaro rangatira.

Think only the highest thoughts.

(A Rangtira is a person of high integrity.)


Me kimihia te ara totika hei oranga mo to ao.

Seek the right path to benefit your world.


Ko te kaupapa o te maramatanga he rite ki nga ihi o te ra.

The purpose of enlightenment, is that it be as clear as the sun’s rays.

(Pursue higher learning for it is the pathway to freedom.)