Ngā Taonga Mōhiotanga: Kaumātua Voices
Presented by Lesley Rameka
Tuesday 29 June 2021, 6.30–9pm at The University of Waikato.
Wellbeing, the state of being healthy and happy, is fundamental to an individual’s ability to function and live well. Māori have some of the worst wellbeing statistics in New Zealand, with low levels of educational attainment, high levels of unemployment and incarceration, decreasing levels of home ownership, lower than average incomes, inequitable access to healthcare, higher than average mortality rates, and the highest levels of suicide since records began (Chalmers, & Williams, 2018).
From a holistic Māori worldview, mana (power, authority) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) encapsulate the critical relationships fundamental to Māori understandings of wellbeing. These relationships reflect the interconnectedness and interdependence of humans with the people, places and things in their worlds and the responsibilities associated with these relationships.
This article utilises pūrākau (stories/narrative) collected from kaumātua (elders) and Māori early childhood education leaders to illuminate how mana and kaitiakitanga were traditionally upheld and utilised for the benefit and wellbeing of all.