Rita Mate smiling together
August 2022

Te mahi rongoā ki Waiōhau, new Karawhiua video about Māori medicine

Me hoki te tangata māuiui ki te mauri o Tane te waiora.

Returning to the healing wisdom of our tipuna is the life work of Waiōhau aunties Rita Tupe and Mate Tihema, who are busier than ever supporting whānau in their rohe.

Our new Karawhiua video explores the journey of these humble rongoā experts as they awhi their community through COVID-19.

When COVID-19 entered Waiōhau, Rita and Mate were swept off their feet making and delivering rongoā packs far and wide. Word about their amazing rongoā soon spread and they found themselves delivering to whānau in Whakatāne, Kawerau and Rūātoki.

Their rongoā packs include kūmarahou to strengthen the lungs, red matipo for a healthy heart, and tātarāmoa to numb the aches. It involves careful harvesting and preparation and being guided by the mauri of the bush and moemoeā.

Rita says rongoā is in our whakapapa. She was nine years old when her mother started her on her rongoā Māori journey. “This is my time to teach our mokopuna, because it’s important, kia kore e ngaro tēnei kaupapa,” she says. 

Rita and Mate’s aroha and commitment is massive and Karawhiua is proud to stand by them and support their mahi.

Watch the Te mahi rongoā ki Waiōhau video and hear how whānau are using rongoā Māori alongside modern medicine to prepare for and recover from KOWHEORI-19.

Video Link: https://www.karawhiua.nz/assets/Videos/Te-mahi-rongoa-ki-Waiohau-FINAL-16x9.mp4