Tūhoe healer chooses to fully vaccinate

By Taroi Black

Natural immunity has become one of the key arguments during this global health crisis of Covid-19.

Here in Aotearoa, the traditional Māori healing system uses natural remedies and spiritual healing to enhance natural immunity.

Yet, a well-known practitioner of Māori medicine has chosen to get vaccinated.

Rita Tupe helps lead the Ngā Ringa Kōkōmuka Partnership, which is a collaboration of tohunga Māori in Tūhoe.

“I work for Te Whare Wānanga o Raukawa, I was aware of the potential risk of an outbreak to our 'wānanga' which can spread amongst our people."

“It was the right choice for me to get vaccinated," she says.

Although she got fully vaccinated at Te Puna Ora o Mātaatua, she says it's up to Māori traditional practitioners to make their own choice.

Tupe took a Covid test two weeks later because she had flu-like symptoms that proved negative.

Despite making the choice, Tupe still believes rongoā Māori has its place to treat many underlying health problems.

"I still believe in traditional medicines and our 'Atua'." 

“Rongoā Māori plays a significant role. However, this virus isn't from New Zealand.”