Traditional Māori Healing Program – Te Waiwaia – January 2015

New for 2015: Te Waiwaia 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 Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015


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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.


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Rongoā Māori is not just about Maori plant medications; it is a prescription for wellbeing, mauri ora (conscious wellbeing).

Restoring and strengthening our connections using Matauranga Māori (traditional knowledge accumulated across multiple generations) is the basis of Rongoā Māori. Our wellbeing is determined by the balance or imbalance between what we eat, our relationship with and contribution to the world and others, what we think and how we find peace. Rongoā Māori acknowledges all aspects of our being including the physical and the spiritual and how a balance between these things can facilitate wellbeing or conversely their imbalance erode it.

Fostering a mutual respect for traditional Maori healing principles and contemporary medical practices offers the potential for enhanced wellbeing.  Learning the stories of this whenua and its ecology is an opportunity to heal both the land and its people.


raranga 01 300px Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015On 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 Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015

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.


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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. 

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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.

Waihou 360px Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015On 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 course runs from 6th–24th January 2015. The Early Bird cost is $2,995 fully inclusive.

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.

Rongoa with Donna Kerridge

Donna Kerridge portrait 180px Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015Donna Kerridge (Waikato te Iwi), BHSc (CompMed), AdvDip Massage, 2010 Medical Herbalist Graduate of the Year (NZAMH). Donna operates a small natural health practice in Helensville based on Rongoā Māori philosophies and practices. She is the resident natural health presenter on the weekly Maori television series Maara Kai.

Donna’s presentation honours her obligation to share and keep alive ancient healing principles in an appropriate, safe and respectful way for the benefit of all people but especially for our future generations and their evolving needs.

Donna breaks down traditional principles and practices, and designs a menu of soul food for practitioners and patients alike. She postulates rongoa Maori as a medicine for the future and discusses the need to protect the knowledge and its integrity for the benefit of all. Rongoa Maori is an inclusive rather than exclusive practice. Using Maori plant medicines to recognise, our intrinsic relationship and connection with nature and each other, Donna will share the learning that has been lovingly shared with her by her elders and others in the field.

Mirimiri and Romiromi with Atarangi Muru

Atarangi Muru portrait 150px Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015Atarangi 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.

Taonga Puoro with James Webster

James Webster parihaka Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015James Webster is of Maori and European descent and is well known as a talented Maori arts practitioner, working with many mediums including wood, bone and stone (sculpting and carving) as well as paint, fibre and metal (mixed media) and Ta Moko (body adornment / tribal tattoo). Jame’s tribal affiliations are Tainui, Te Arawa and Pakeha.

James has been working in the arts industry for over 18 years as a freelance multi-disciplined artist specialising in sculpture and working in the fields of carving (bone, stone and wood), painting and other mixed-media creations. James also works as a Tamoko (Maori tattoo) artist and is a maker and player of Taonga Puoro (Maori musical instruments).

James has a Bachelor of Arts, Te Maunga Kura Toi, (with excellence) in Whakairo Rakau (Maori Wood carving) from Te Wananga o Aotearoa, under the tutelage of Dr Paakaariki Harrison and Professor Kereti Rautangata.

One of Websters passions is the making and playing of Taonga Puoro (singing treasures / Maori Musical Instruments). Taonga Puoro, like the Maori language, reflects the sounds and rythms of nature and the environment. One of the traditional uses of taonga puoro was in the art of healing through music. These traditional instruments have whakapapa (genealogy) and purakau (origin stories).

Over the past 30 years there has been a revival of the craft of Taonga Puoro. Webster is a member of the group Haumanu which is dedicated to the revival – teaching and sharing of these taonga through instrument making and musical and artistic performances.

Raranga / Weaving will be a key part of the Marae experience in the Sacred Journey

weaving 150px Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015For many growing up around the pa harakeke, the experiences in and around this strong native plant has not only informed the way they work with it but also the way in which it is shared with others. Elders sat in raranga circles creating taonga with flax and this is a tradition that is followed with whanau and fellow weavers. This module 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, mahi raranga is a tool to unlock, to explore, to discover your creative expression – it is a time for healing and rejoicing.

Te Kaha Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015

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

Sacred Journey with Makuini Ruth Tai

Ruth Tai portrait 150px1 Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015Makuini, 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 will run from 9:00am until 6:30pm. Some days may benefit from an extra hour or two into the evening. Participants who attend the whole experience will receive a Certificate of completion.


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


tanes tokotoko 250px Traditional Māori Healing Program   Te Waiwaia   January 2015Kia 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.)