Rongoā: Māori healing working alongside modern medicine

By Stefan Dimitrof

Te Papanui, a general medical practice clinic recently opened by Kīng Tuheitia, features rongoā practitioners, who offer advice and treatments to visiting patients, alongside doctors and other medical professionals.

The opening of this clinic was led by Ngāti Wairere, which also gifted the name of the clinic.

But Te Whare Ariki chief executive Te Rina Moke said they have had rongoā services in their other clinic for over 10 years and are looking to expand their services further.

“We have found that there has been a higher demand for our rongoā services than our GPs, which is delightful.”

“Rongoā is a science that is just as robust and legitimate as western medicine and we know that it actually works and we have very good practitioners in this country, so very supportive of rongoā Māori.”

Moke sees the future of rongoā and modern medicine as working side by side as the focus will be on the person accessing the services and identifying what they need.

So far Moke said they haven’t received any negative feedback and that “people embrace it in the sense that it's not either/or but a unified approach”.