Research supports the merge of Western and Māori rongoa

  • Auckland

Manurewa Marae's Te Manu Aute Whare Oranga has provided traditional and clinical health services for some years now and is an example of how traditional rongoā Māori healers and doctors can work together to manage health and well-being. So it's no surprise that the latest research shows that Māori are keen for traditional rongoā Māori healers and doctors to work together.

According to the latest research by Dr Glenis Mark, Māori want to use traditional healing practices, alongside western practices.

“The patients in my research said that they would love for healers and doctors to collaborate together because they felt there would be a lot of benefits, there would be benefit out of information and knowledge shared, as well as having more options for treatment as well as a more holistic treatment.”

At Te Manu Aute Whare Oranga the treatments vary.

“At this clinic I work with the doctors and it's great.  Two years ago, they weren't receptive to our knowledge of traditional Māori practices,” says, Hone Ratana from Te Arawa.

Dr Mark completed her research last year. Of the 33 that participated, many were concerned there may be a lack of support from clinical practices.

“Part of it might be exposure, as well, you're always gonna have people that are not going to think that it's going to work, and that's just because that's how they feel,” says Karen Jones, Nurse.

There are many types of Māori traditional healing available to the sick such as massage and hot stones. The Whare Oranga hopes to expand so it can meet the growing need.