Te Pōhā - Te Rūnanga O Moeraki
23 Oct 2023
Te Pōhā - Weaving together the knowledge of Mahika kai and mahika tīpuna in the Moeraki takiwā
Te Hā o Maru is an emerging Health and Social service owned and operated by Te Rūnanga O Moeraki. Led by Toihau - Executive Officer Mani Malloy-Sharplin, Te Hā o Maru is dedicated to providing a unique kaupapa Māori approach to health and social services, specifically as the only mana whenua health and social service in the takiwā.
One of their notable initiatives is the Te Pōhā programme, which focuses on mahika kai (food-related activities) to enhance participants' overall well-being from a Māori worldview. In February 2023, Te Hā o Maru received an $84,000 grant from the Otago Community Trust to support the establishment costs of Te Pōhā. This program aims to connect participants to the land, teach them about Māori worldviews and traditional practices, and engage them in intergenerational activities centered around seasonal kai (food).
As Moeraki mana whenua, we have a responsibility to take these practices and offer them to our communities in an effort to support each and every person that participates to lead out their own, self-lead, health initiatives via connection. Toihau Executive Officer - Mani Malloy-Sharplin
The four-week Te Pōhā programme runs continuously throughout the year and is open to rakatahi (young people) and their whānau (extended family). It encourages participants to connect with the whenua o Moeraki (land of Moeraki) and mātauraka Moeraki (knowledge of Moeraki), incorporating activities related to gathering and preserving food and engaging with the environment. The program aims to address mental, physical, social, and spiritual health using these methods as a framework.
Te Hā o Maru actively encourages the participation of not only rakatahi but also their extended whānau to show support whenever possible. It's important to note that Te Pōhā is just one part of a comprehensive suite of services offered by Te Hā o Maru, highlighting the organization's commitment to holistic health and social support.