Valuing traditional Māori medicine: Rongoā

Valuing traditional Māori medicine: Rongoā

Rongoā is an ancient form of Māori traditional healing. It is based on plant use combined with traditional holistic healing. A key aspect of Rongoā Māori is the oral transmission of knowledge.

Chanel and Ra from Country Kids discuss how they engage in Rongoā Māori in their centre with and alongside children. Through the discussion, demonstration, and passing on of knowledge, they have been able to engage children in learning more about these traditional practices. Furthermore, these practices have inspired children’s interests and inspired their working theories. Chanel and Ra describe how this supports and inspires children to be kaitiaki or guardians of their land.

A glossary of te reo Māori terms is available below this video.


Aroha: love

Hā ki roto, hā ki waho: breathe in, breathe out

Hauora: a Māori philosophy of health and wellbeing

Kaiako: teacher

Karakia: a prayer

Kaupapa: a principle or policy

Kawa: protocol

Mana: the supernatural force in every person, place or object which should be respected and upheld

Manaakitanga: hospitality, kindness, generosity, support – the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others

Papatūānuku: the land, Mother Earth

Rongoā: traditional Māori remedies and treatments

Tamariki: children

Tikanga: correct procedure or custom

Tuakana-teina: a relationship of support between an older and a younger child

Turangawaewae: a place where one has the right to stand

Whakapainga ēnei kai, Hei oranga tinana, wairua: Bless this food for the goodness of our bodies and our spirits

Whanaungatanga: relationship, kinship, sense of family connection – a relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging

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