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Te Maramataka - restoring 'health' by reconnecting with Te Taiao

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Isaac Warbrick
Mr Rereata Makiha
Professor Helen Moewaka Barnes
Dr Valance Smith
Mr Garth Harmsworth
Professor Jeroen Douwes
Professor Christopher Cunningham
Kalei Nuuhiwa
Mrs Davina Thompson
Health issue:
Environmental health
Proposal type:
Māori Health Project
Lay summary
Korero tuku iho are replete with references to the connection between hauora and te taiao (the environment). Western science has also revealed a clear connection between human health and engagement in natural environments. Modern lifestyles are characterised by a disconnection from the natural environment and its natural rhythms. The maramataka is a system our tūpuna used to connect environmental tohu to certain activities – some days were better for intense work, while others were considered ideal for rest and ‘giving back’. Ultimately, the maramataka provides a way to engage with different environments in a culturally relevant, and uniquely Māori way. This study aims to (1) identify and explore current initiatives that use te maramataka and environmental ‘kōrero tuku iho’ to improve hauora, (2) co-design a maramataka-based ‘intervention’ that will support Māori to connect with te taiao in uniquely Māori ways, and (3) measure the impact of engaging with te taiao.