Tikanga Māori, Te Reo Māori, Cultural Identity and Mātauranga Māori
Te Kōhao Health is a Marae based Provider of health, social, employment, Whānau ora, education and justice services to a predominantly Māori (80%) client base. There has been extensive research over the years (which has coincided with our experience over 25 years) that Te Reo me ona tikanga are key components of building strong, health and prosperous whānau.
New research has shown that Te Reo Māori even acts as a protective factor against diabetes and other health ailments (Teng, Scott et al. 2019). Therefore incorporating Te Ao Māori (tikanga Māori, Te Reo Māori, Cultural identity and mātauranga Māori) into our organisation and our operations is essential if we are to serve our whānau Māori in a way that is engaging, enlightening and empowering. (Durie, 2009).
Along with our Strategy, Vision and core values which are all derived from Mātauranga Māori we have implemented Whānau ora across the organisation. Whānau ora ensures that Te Ao Māori is permeated throughout all we do, that whānau are at the centre as ‘drivers’ and ‘directors’ of their own destiny. Whānau direct our services and in doing so their tino rangatiratanga is upheld and maintained. Our comprehensive, whānau centred solutions have been time tested and incorporate tailored supports that address the social, health and sometimes justice issues that create educational and employment barriers for whānau. Central to our delivery are philosophies and principles that are underpinned by Te Ao Māori (Mātauranga Māori).
Our strategic direction is encapsulated by the Te Kōhao Health vision:
“Kia whakatinanatia ko te ihi, ko te wehi, ko te wana me te hauoranga ō te whānau”
Living our Tino Rangatiratanga through Strong, Healthy, Vibrant and Prosperous Whānau.
Our premise is that core Māori values and social constructs are effective in helping people of all ethnicities restore balance. This has proven itself continuously over the decades and we cannot stress enough that this approach is of value regardless of the cultural context – it is not just applicable to Māori.
The Māori Health promotion model Te Pae Mahutonga (a Health Promotion Model developed by Professor Sir Mason Durie, 2011) is a key component of our whānau ora model. The Te Pae Mahutonga model identifies cultural identity (Mauriora) as fundamental to Hauora Māori and for rangatahi in particular, disconnection from Te Āo Māori inhibits personal development. The Te Pae Mahutonga model is holistic and gives us a platform from which to ‘scan’ for areas of need and address those immediately. Mauriora is the one area where whānau continually need support.
Part of our Team Charter (Company expectations of staff and whānau) is Te Reo me ona Tikanga: where staff commit to learning Te Reo Māori me ona tikanga and applying it in their mahi. This illustrates to all staff that Te Kōhao’s expectation of Kaimahi that Te Reo me ona tikanga be learned and delivered to whānau. We have had a number of staff who have completed Te Tohu Pae Tahi at Te Wānanga ō Aotearoa, three of our General Practitioners being among them.
Free expression of Tikanga Māori, Te Reo Māori, Cultural Identity and Mātauranga Māori
Along with our annual Treaty Training, regular Team Meetings discussions and heavy participation in nationally significant Treaty of Waitangi claims, the Treaty is a part of Te Kōhao’s practice and engagement with whānau . As mentioned above, by supporting whānau in the identification of the goals, support and navigation (active protection) in the delivery of those, whānau are able to exercise tino rangatiratanga (self-determination), participate in society, and be autonomous in their plans (and Pae Aronui is a key part of that autonomy ) for the future. This all culminates in equity, thus meeting the needs of Māori, Pasifika and other ethnicities.
Te Kōhao Health is a member of the National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA), the Hauraki Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and Lead Provider for the Te Ngira Whānau Ora Collective commissioned by Te Pou Matakana. These relationships are essential to ensuring Te Kōhao can continue to meet the core needs of whānau.
Te Kōhao has refined its service delivery to whānau, having responded to feedback from whānau, adopted learnings from other indigenous whānau and streamlined our services into a multidisciplinary team approach that we have called 'Kia Kotahi'. This method is to ensure that whānau receive targeted holistic health care when they need it. Furthermore, this will ensure whānau have mana motuhake (control and ownership) over their health and wellbeing.
With new technologies and systems, we are always looking at ways to make this process easier for our clients.
“I was down in the dumps, it was a stressful time. I had no money for food, after my bills were taken out each week I would have $9.00 left. Te Kōhao and the team have helped me turn things around. They helped me access food, I now have a great doctor, I sought budget advice, my older sister is now enrolled in the clinic and is enjoying the services available. Things are on the up. In fact, my sister and I are looking at opening a business to help youth.”
A leading enabler of health for the people of Aotearoa and worldwide delivered within Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Tikanga. He maungarongo ki te mata o te whenua. Arohaina ngā whānau katoa.
Peace on earth and goodwill to all. Caring for each other. Kia Māori ai. Normalising good health and wellbeing, innovation, entrepreneurship and success.
The English translation is “Living their Tino Rangatiratanga through Strong, Healthy, Vibrant and Prosperous Whānau”. This vision is a reflection to our past history to a time when our people once thrived as individuals, as whānau, hapu and Iwi. This vision gives us directional purpose in our mahi at Te Kōhao and can only be achieved when we are fully committed to contributing.
Kotahi ano te kōhao o te ngira. E kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero. I muri i ahau, kia mau ki te aroha, ki te ture me te whakapono.
There is but one eye of the needle through which the white, black and red threads must pass. After I am gone, hold fast to the love, to the law, and to the faith. Literally, Te Kōhao means the eye of the needle or entrance way for everyone, no matter what their iwi, ethnicity, religion or language. All are welcome here. Te Kōhao was born from He moemoe nga Kirikiriroa Marae Whanau, that recognised the Marae as a natural gathering place for urban Māori and whānau from all other ethnicities.
Seeds were sown to develop the Marae to meet the needs of whānau by giving them urban access to all aspects of living including cultural, social, health, justice and education services.
In the paternal context, Kirikiriroa Marae gave birth to Te Kōhao and nurtured it in its infancy to grow healthy and be useful. This has achieved a moemoea to develop the Marae as a one stop shop for the benefit and wellbeing of whānau. As the demand for services increased, our Kaumatua Wikuki Kingi in his wisdom encouraged Te Kōhao to design and build a facility to accommodate. It was now time for Te Kōhao to leave home and grow up in the world.
Against all odds, under the direction of our Kaumatua, coupled with absolute faith Atua, Te Kōhao received sponsorship, support and investment from many members of our community. In May 2009, its first Whānau Ora Centre was opened.
Mariameno Kapa-Kingi, Nō Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa
Te Rangi Martell, Nō Waikato, Te Whānau Apanui, Ngaitai, Whakatohea
Koroneihana Cooper, Nō Waikato, Tainui
Owen Purcell, Nō Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hawea
Lady Tureiti Moxon, Nō Ngāti Pahauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu, Kai Tahu