Acknowledging the Māori cultural values and beliefs embedded in rongoā Māori healing

  • Glenis Mark
  • Kerry Chamberlain
  • Amohia Boulton
Keywords: Healing, health, wellbeing, illness, disease, Māori, spirituality, New Zealand


An exploration of rongoā Māori (a system of Māori healing based on Māori cultural traditions) was conducted to ascertain the cultural values and beliefs of Māori, the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa/New Zealand, that are related to Māori healing. A Kaupapa Māori approach utilising Māori cultural concepts throughout the research process guided the overall study design. Semi-structured narrative interviews were conducted in 2009 and 2010 with 17 rongoā Māori healers. The rourou Māori method of data analysis, a 3-step process created specifically for this project, was employed to analyse healers’ talk about the underlying concepts of rongoā Māori healing. Two key topics emerged: concepts of healing, and the focus of healing. The importance of acknowledging Māori cultural values and beliefs inherent within rongoā Māori healing concepts and the focus of healing is discussed. 

Research Papers