FROM THE FOREST
HEALTH & WELL-BEING
traditional healing / rongoā / mirimiri
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 are shared through the rongoā they create and the mirimiri they provide.
Our Clinic is composed of locally sourced native flora herbal formulas. We aim to continuously source pristine, unadulturated and wholesome medicines for mind, body and soul wellness. Te Waka Rākau are devoted to making vibrant and medicinally potent remedies that honours the principles of harmony and ancient formulation.
Our founder, Joanne Hakaraia, opened The Clinic with a mission to bridge traditional remedies to modern day needs and imbalances. We believe in sustainable growth, from the inception of the plants we use, to our business practice. Our project educates and supports fair trade practices to create remedies that benefit people from all walks of life.
The products that we make and the knowledge that we share about rongoā is passed down through whakapapa. When you hold a product of ours in your hand, we want you to know where it came from, what's in it and how it came about.
We have been working with rongoā for most of our lives. The recipes we use have been handed down through the ages and we have kept our kaupapa very simple. We only use native plants grown in abundance on our whenua (land).
Our products are hand produced by our local collective who have a passion for rākau. We do everything from local harvesting to manufacture through to the mirimiri we provide in our clinic. We are healers. Our range of recipes are created to support the work that we do with customers. We have mirimiri (massage) balms that are for specific uses as well as a range for all over body massage.
In 2020 we became a registered charitable organisation operating as a not-for-profit business.
Over the past 4 years, our initiatives have evolved and our rongoā community has grown. We deliver year long rongoā wānanga and events that include; self-reflection, plant identification, stream restoration, seed collecting, nursery management, rongoā māori services and more. The Clinic developed from the delivery of Punaora Rongoā wānanga. The students were learning from each other providing mirimiri and rongoā, very soon friends and whanau were coming in. The clinic is based in Otaki.
I am the rongoā practitioner, medicine maker, educator and founder of Te Waka Rākau. I am Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāti Whakaue. I was born and raised in Otaki. I started Te Waka Rākau a few years ago in Auckland as a means to bridging ancient remedies to the modern world. My vision is to create a forest to apothecary experience through the art of medicine making with native plants. We offer a wide spectrum of remedies and plants, integrating from several traditions that I've studied over the years. I believe that by preserving these ancient forms of indigenous botany, we keep alive a very sacred aspect to our source. Te Waka Rākau was founded with the intention to bridge ancient healing traditions and plant remedies as a form of grass roots healthcare for today's world.
Since I was a little girl, I have been very observant of the people around me and my environment. I was born with intuitive sight. I remember 'reading' information around people but I had no language to interpret what I was seeing. I lived in a sensory world loaded with information but without words to express it. When I got older, I devoted my time to being able to understand and interpret sensory information. I learned to cultivate it and trained with psychics and healers that helped me convert this energy into a healing art that I could apply. I was very fortunate to have found a wonderful teacher who helped me to delve deep through the art of skilled questioning.
I focused and studied rongoā (traditional plant medicine), learning from teachers from all over Aotearoa. I trained as a massage therapist and continued on to cultivate a private practice in West Auckland.
In 2020, I moved my clinic to Otaki, the place that nurtured me growing up. Our purpose is to provide a natural and powerful form of healthcare using unadulterated plant medicine that integrates native traditions.