Kete and patu on a table
September 2022

Returning to Tihei-wa Mauri Ora

A powerful mātauranga Māori hauora tool is helping tāngata whaiora turn the corner from darkness to light after two and a half years of living with COVID-19.

For many tāngata whaiora, uncertainty about COVID-19, changes in income, relationship stresses and the mamae of being isolated from whānau has added to their mental distress. Reaching out to support networks can make the journey easier.

“It’s about shifting the mauri,” says Rawinia (not her real name), who has struggled with depression and anxiety since she was a teenager. 

“I have had some dark times over the last two years. My way of getting through has been to reach out to close friends and whānau for support, which helps me get back on track, and I can pull myself up. When I am well, anxiety literally takes a back seat, and I can continue on living life at my best.” 

The turning point for Rawinia was when she began living by the principles of Tihei-wa Mauri Ora. This mātauranga Māori healing framework was developed by Māori counsellors Teina Piripi and the late Vivienne Body. It supports our oranga through leading us into a deeper understanding of te ao Māori. 

“Tihei-wa Mauri Ora illustrated for me what I was feeling, and then I could visualise a way out of it. The spectrum takes you from Te Kore Kore, or potential being, all the way across to Tihei-wa Mauri-ora, which is the place where we thrive. And I want to stay in that place!”

Rawinia’s biggest advice for tāngata whaiora who are suffering is to seek help because, at times, it can be hard to think clearly. 

We shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and find the right type of support we need. If a counsellor isn’t your cup of tea, then it’s ok to look for one that is. And, if your friends aren’t uplifting you, find ones that do.”

Other things Rawinia has done to support her hinengaro through COVID-19 include planting a māra kai to save money and eat well, and taking more time out of her busy schedule.  

“I now plan for that time to focus on just myself.”

Tihei-wa Mauri Ora

In Tihei-wa Mauri Ora, the te ao Māori worldview contains the keys for our healing journey. The three core principles of Tihei-wa Mauri Ora are:

  • Whāia te oranga, a willingness to grow
  • Mātauranga Māori, meaning and understanding
  • Kia ū ki te rongomau, healing and wellbeing.

You can learn more about their mahi on the Tihei-wa Mauri Ora website.

Tihei-wa Mauri Ora

Visit our Tāngata whaiora page for other tools for self-care, and information about where to find the awhi we need for our taha hinengaro.

Tāngata whaiora