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Te Waka Rākau

Rongoā Māori is a Way of Living

At Te Waka Rākau, we believe that healing ourselves is integral to healing Papatūānuku. Since our formation in 2016, we have been dedicated to bringing wāhine and their whānau together to share the stories that make them unique, while using the traditional practice of Rongoā Māori to promote and sustain wellness.

Through Rongoā Māori, we are able to heal from the traumas of the past and connect with the natural world, embodying our spiritual connection to Papatūānuku.


Our Kaupapa

Te Waka Rākau was formed in 2016 to bring wāhine and their whanau together to share their stories through the traditional practice of Rongoā Māori. Their stories and healing are shared through the rongoā they create. 

Our kaupapa is to preserve the mātauranga of Rongoā Māori through the rongoā we all make  

With everything we do at Te Waka Rākau we apply the principles of:

​      MAURI

  • Everything has mauri. Mauri can be seen, felt and heard. It can be interpreted. Mauri is the essence that binds and holds our kaupapa together and is woven through all of the dimensions.


  • Strengthening relationships by creating supportive opportunities for wāhine to develop and preserve their knowledge and skills in traditional Māori healing. We provide this through our online Rongoā Mauri Course, our clinic and workshops.


  • Infusing kaitiakitanga into the dimension of whanaungatanga. We become the protector of the relationship formed by constantly connecting to rākau and nurturing it. We sustain the knowledge formed between ourselves and rākau. We become kaitiaki of the mauri imbued in these dimensions. We ensure that its mauri is being preserved.


  • Embracing projects that nurture and support the realm of Papatūānuku. When we heal Papatūānuku we heal ourselves. When we heal ourselves, we heal Papatūānuku. We raise the mana of rākau by acknowledging its status of tuakana (older sibling). We elevate rākau with admiration and joy. We understand why rākau grows where it does and the mahi that it does for Papatūānuku (Earth Mother) and her descendants.


  • A creative force that emanates from our being. It has the power to liberate and release. Deepening our understanding of the true meaning of aroha as the highest vibration. Rākau support us to activate the intelligence of aroha. It opens our heart to purge that which weighs heavy. Rākau reflect aroha. When we are ready to work with the teachings of rākau she will bring down the hardened walls of fear for divine light to illuminate.


  • Wairuatanga is vital to health and wellness. Our physical dimension does not exist without wairuatanga. When things are out of balance we tend to focus on the physical dimension, when our awareness should be on te taha wairua.


  • Moving and weaving together as one roopu, for the care and aroha of Papatūānuku and her descendants. A feeling of unity, of being at peace and at one together. The oneness of everything. It's a dynamic collaboration of everything working together as one. A perfect example of kotahitanga in action is the ngāhere (forest). All rākau grow together, nourish and support each other to reach the light. When a great tree falls a myriad of growth appears on that fallen tree to become kai and shelter. It allows more light to come in. To achieve kotahitanga, the higher principles achieved earlier will have been implemented first. Reaching kotahitanga requires energy, discipline and an exceptional desire to reach the highest potential of the kaupapa.

The principles of Te Waka Rākau are expressed within our kaupapa and are based on traditions that are central to Te Ao Māori. Our creation stories and traditions guide our thought processes, our behaviours and our states of being.  We share these concepts as wisdom that can be found within the plant kingdom.

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