June 08, 2022
Rongoā immersion in Māori world
An online symposium this month will look at the future of rongoā Māori.
Traditional medicine practitioner Donna Kerridge has worked with the symposium organiser, Whanganui-based Whakauae Research Centre for Māori Health & Development, on a project to map the biosphere of rongoā.
She says government agencies are now keen to understand the practice, and last month she was able to take Health Ministry officials who are rewriting the Medicines Act into the ngāhere to show them what rongoā is for Māori.
“That perspective as understood by Māori is key, not how we whitewash rongoā Māori so everyone else can understand but bringing them into our world to show them how we understand, and I have to say it has changed the way we work together since,'” she says.
Ms Kerridge says the only reason rongoā Māori still exists is because it works.
Other speakers at Tū Mai Rongoā Māori symposium on June 29 include Health Ministry deputy director general John Whaanga, Eldon Paea from Accident Compensation, Riana Manuel from the Māori Health Authority and Rōpata McGowan for the Department of Conservation.