Rongoā Māori is a holistic and cultural healing practice that incorporates deep, personal connections with the natural environment.

For centuries, whānau Māori have cultivated rongoā, passing its unique knowledge down through generations. The practice is derived from mātauranga, which many Māori regard as central to their identity.

Rongoā is a key pathway to good health outcomes for Māori.  It is also increasingly a treatment of choice for all New Zealanders, with ACC data showing that 40% of clients who access rongoā via ACC are non-Māori.

Rongoā practice includes mirimiri and romiromi, mahi wairua, wai rākau, whakairo, tā moko, moko kauae and rongoā rākau. It can also involve understanding of and connection to whakapapa and te ao Māori, kōrero, and protection of te taiao.

Rongoā Māori Action Plan

Health NZ | Te Whatu Ora launched the Rongoā Māori Action Plan, a cross-agency tool to better support rongoā in ways that recognise the expertise and authority of tohunga, mātanga rongoā and whānau.

The Plan, which was developed following in-depth engagement, is based on moemoeā, visions and aspirations, for preserving, protecting, and supporting rongoā Māori.

We met with more than 500 rongoā specialists, practitioners and Māori health partners between January and March 2023, either in-person or online. This included meeting with tohunga, mātanga rongoā, rongoā collectives, hauora Māori partners, and iwi.

Centred on the issues and solutions offered during these engagements, the Plan is made up of coordinated short-term actions (by December 2024) and medium-long term actions (from January 2025) under five key aronga. We are making good progress on several of the short-term actions now and our intention is to deliver many of them ahead of December 2024.

The aronga are:

•         Aronga tahi - increase investment in rongoā Māori, 
•         Aronga rua - implement a partnership approach to rongoā commissioning, 
•         Aronga toru - support and grow the rongoā workforce,
•         Aronga whā - strengthen system coordination for rongoā Māori, and 
•         Aronga rima - increase awareness and understanding of rongoā Māori.

View the Rongoā Māori Action Plan (pdf, 118kb)

Rongoā - Kahu Taurima

Rongoā is becoming part of the health system’s maternity and early years services through Kahu Taurima, our joint programme with Te Whatu Ora for māmā, pēpi and whānau.

We are investing in hauora Māori partners to offer rongoā as a care option for our māmā hapū and their pēpi.

Rongoā Māori work programme

Tino rangatiratanga over rongoā is guaranteed under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We are committed to helping Māori continue to determine the protection and support needed for rongoā to flourish.

Our mahi is focused on:

•    priorities and aspirations for preserving, protecting, and supporting rongoā   
•    ensuring Māori voices inform rongoā advice to Government  
•    navigating the health system to deliver on priorities for rongoā
•    identifying funding paths and other resources needed to invest in rongoā for hauora