Rongoā Māori clinic opens at Bay of Islands Hospital

By Will Trafford

A Rongoā Māori Health clinic has opened within Bay of Islands Hospital.

The clinic is part of a Northland DHB pilot programme to create dedicated spaces for traditional Māori healing.

Two additional clinics will also launch at Kaitaia Hospital and Hokianga Health.

Tohe Ashby the Tohunga Rongoā and practitioner says the clinics will specialize in creating bespoke treatments for every patient.

“Just as every person is unique, so too are their health needs. Rongoā is not one size fits all. We always seek to understand what the need is, and from there, we apply the appropriate lens,” said Tohe.

“Rongoā isn’t new. It’s always been here. I grew up learning that Rongoā wasn’t just the interventions we use when we’re unwell, but the continual practices that keep you well,” he said.

Bay of Islands Hospital operations manager Jen Thomas says patients will access the new services alongside western medicine and the practitioners will also be available to visit patients in wards.

“Health is not just doctors prescribing medication – it is much more than that. Both services align as they are maintaining wellness and wellbeing,” said Thomas.

Services offered at the clinics include karakia, wairua healing, whitiwhiti kōrero, mirimiri, romiromi, waireka, wairakau and panipani.

This new Rongoā clinic is based in the Community Health Building off Hospital Road, Kawakawa, every Friday from 9 – 4 pm.

Appointments can be made via phone or texting 02102835818