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Well-being way of life for whānau

by Tariana Turia, Whanganui Chronicle, 5 December 2013

Dame Tariana writes how she was inspired by Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā, “a Māori model based on holistic health and wellness – embracing four dimensions representing the basic beliefs of life – te taha hinengaro (psychological health), te taha wairua (spiritual health), te taha tinana (physical health) and te taha whānau (family health).”

The four-dimensional model is symbolised by the four walls of a house where each wall is necessary to the strength and symmetry of the building.

Well-being is more than what can be diagnosed by a health professional.

It is about our active participation and contribution in te ao Māori and to the wider community. It is about the health and well-being of our extended whānau, our hapu, our iwi, our language and culture.

It is about our relationship with the environment and our ability to be active kaitiaki or guardians of our lands, our rivers and streams and our mountains and valleys.

The symbolism of the wharenui in Sir Mason’s Whare Tapa Whā holistic model illustrates the dimensions needed to maintain good health. Just as each corner of the house must be strong and balanced to support the walls and the roof, each dimension of well-being must also be balanced to achieve strength, good health and well-being.

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