Kāhui Māori focused on collective impact

The Healthy Families Kāhui Māori (collective) recently convened in Tāmaki Makaurau at Healthy Families South Auckland (The Cause Collective) in Wiri. 

The two-day hui was aimed at enhancing collaborative efforts between Healthy Families NZ sites across Aotearoa particularly on Māori focused initiatives to strengthen health prevention across their respective communities. For example, the resurgence of mātauranga Māori systems, traditions and practices in modern-day Aotearoa has offered alternative and holistic approaches to managing health and wellbeing. Healthy Families NZ has incorporated Māori cultural knowledge and concepts of wellbeing to attain good health. 

Anaru Ah Kew, Kaiurungi Māori at Healthy Families South Auckland, comments that Healthy Families New Zealand has been driving a ‘Māori systems return approach’ in health prevention in Aotearoa. 

“Our hui was a timely occasion to reflect on the Healthy Families journey, acknowledging all the ups and downs, and looking ahead to the pae tawhiti (future) of what can be achieved as a Kahui Māori. When we look at health prevention through a Te Ao Māori lens, we can rethink the way our ecosystem influences our health, because we believe that our traditional practices, cultural knowledge, and environment plays a critical role in our wellbeing.” 

“Healthy Families South Auckland, and our wider Healthy Families New Zealand whānau, have incorporated a traditional knowledge system such as Māramataka, the ancient Māori calendar, in various aspects of our work including urban development. We are committed to collaborate with multiple stakeholders at various levels such as renowned tohunga Matua Rereata Mākiha, local government and hapori Māori (communities) to generate collective impact on the health of local people,” he says. 

“Matua Rereata Mākiha is the leading authority on maramataka. He has been a reliable source of knowledge, inspiration, and wisdom for the Kahui Māori as well as individual sites, who have sought his expertise for workshops and strategic advice into how we should implement kōrero tuku iho (traditional knowledge) into the daily lives of the communities they serve across the country.” 

The Kahui Māori are deeply committed to collaboration for collective impact across Aotearoa and understanding the different levers in each system at play across locations.  

“We know that each locality has localised challenges and contexts to help strengthen health prevention systems. However, as a Kahui Māori, we are guided by our Te Ao Māori lens and a whānau approach, so we are confident that we can draw on our networks, knowledge, and practices across multiple locations to have a stronger collective impact in the spaces where our people, live, learn, work, play and pray,” says Anaru. 

*The Kahui Māori is a network for all Māori staff working in Healthy Families New Zealand across ten localities in Aotearoa.