• Peter Bateman
    In the May/June edition of Safeguard magazine we pose three questions based on stories in the magazine. One of them is this:

    Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model for wellbeing has been widely adopted by H&S people. To what extent would deeper engagement with tikanga Māori and Mātauranga Māori enable the evolution of a more effective approach to health, safety and wellbeing?

    Feel free to respond here on the Forum, or privately here via a Survey Monkey form.

    An edited selection of responses will be published in the July/Aug edition, but with no names attached. One randomly selected person will receive a prize, namely a copy of the booklet The Courage to Speak Out, by Dr Bill Glass and Grace Chen.
  • Aaron Marshall
    This sort of approach will make little to no difference to health and wellbeing.

    "Health is related to unseen and unspoken energies.
    The spiritual essence of a person is their life force. This determines us as individuals and as a collective, who and what we are, where we have come from and where we are going.
    A traditional Māori analysis of physical manifestations of illness will focus on the wairua or spirit, to determine whether damage here could be a contributing factor."

    Starting to blame illness on 'spirits' is taking us backwards, not forwards with regards to our wellbeing. It also fails to acknowledge the significant portion of our community that have no spiritual outlook on life.

    No approach or framework for wellbeing that I have seen has ever acknowledged that we are all individuals, with different goals, beliefs and situations. That is what we need, something that allows flexibility to treat people as individuals and involves them, not blaming 'unspoken energies'
  • Peter Scanlan
    Good discussion topic. We have recently incorporated the Te Whare Tapa Wha model as part of our Creating Positive Workplaces (Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying and Harassment) course. The main reason for including it was to get a NZ perspective on health and wellbeing. Previously we had very Euro-centric definitions for health and wellbeing (World Health Organisation, UK Universities etc.). The Te Whare model is a much more holistic and relevant model for NZ (Pakeha and Māori). It also shows some commitment (albeit quite modest) to Te Tiriti. I do not see it as overly spiritual as this is only one out of five aspects to health and wellbeing in the model. Whenua, mental health, whanau and physical health also being equally important. I would personally welcome a deeper engagement with Māori on this and we are slowly incorporating this as part of our training frameworks. Like Aaron, I have no particular spiritual outlook on life, but I can accept that some people will focus on this aspect and others will focus on mental health or physical health. The reason I think it is helpful is that it covers all aspects of health and wellbeing, and most people will identify with at least one of these, and some with all of them.
  • Te Roopu Marutau
    Kia ora Aaron,
    your reaction to this topic is as expected when the English atomistic translation for the word "Mauri" is "life force"... it leads Tangata Tiriti to the assumption that Mauri is a type of magical/spiritual wellbeing. That assumption is wrong.
    Te Whare Tapa Wha identifies Tinana (physical wellbeing), Wairua (commitment to belief system), Whanau (family support network) and Hinengaro (resilience of the mind against unhealthy thoughts). Mauri is state of balance achieved through a combination of these elements (good or bad) Mauri fluctuates continuously and can increase or decrease depending on the well-being of each element. Te Roopu Marutau o Aotearoa are strong supporters of Maori engagement through Mauri in the workplace... but first we need to expand the minds of those who can not see the benefits of holistic wellbeing. You can find us on LinkedIn.

    Nga mihi nui
    Wayne Kohi
  • Aaron Marshall

    Thanks Wayne, That's the first time I've seen it worded that way, and although it still doesn't resonate with me personally, it's a lot better than other interpretations.
  • Trudy Downes

    Thank you for your kōrero. I have only just bothered reading about Te Whare Tapa Whā last week and I love it!

    I used to think that to do H&S well that it needs to be incorporated at grass roots in everything we do and never as under a separate "Health and Safety" Agenda item. And I still think the same but now I call it a holistic approach which is exactly what Te Whare Tapa Wha is.

    Mauri is a most excellent word, way better than psychosocial!
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