The Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau 2019

The Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau 2019 took place on the 4-6 March 2019 in Tutukaka and Ngunguru, Whangarei, and is an annual event that zaSwe host to provide focus and traction for the workforce on the positive kai, wai and kori tinana outcomes for our communities.

It was a great event which brought together Iwi and health promoters, Māori academics, tertiary students, community leaders, youth workers, independent businesses and health practitioners from across the motu to promote, share and celebrate kaupapa Māori practices.

The Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau 2019 combined expert presentations and workshops by specialists which challenged hui participants to consider ways in which we can move towards a future  involving Māori systems thinking, moe, Kai Māori Kai Ora, kori tinana and digital innovation while being equipped to respond to the changing times in a way that enables Māori to prosper and flourish in a changing world as Māori.

Toi Tangata had the following five objectives for the Hui ā Tau which align with our overarching objectives. These include:

  1. Facilitate and foster platforms of knowledge exchange while building confidence and skills in participants (Te Pou Mātauranga)
  2. Facilitate connections between audiences that enable positive health outcomes for Māori populations (Te Pou Hekenga)
  3. Develop and provide high quality information and innovative approaches which integrate Māori methodologies (Te Pou Manukura)
  4. Disseminate increased communication of key nutrition, physical activity or health related evidence (Te Pou Korero)
  5. Share best practice, innovation and approaches with participants (Te Pou Mātauranga)


The two and a half day hui was comprised of 9 plenary sessions (which included 11 keynote speakers) and 13 presentations and workshops.

The theme Navigate | Innovate | Elevate drew inspiration from the preparation and journeys our ancestors took, to the journeys of our contemporary leaders, navigating the various systems and approaches. It highlighted the need to innovate for the evolving world and elevate our people so they can flourish in the world as Māori.   

Structured to share best practice, the hui  created a platform to facilitate knowledge exchange of the key kaupapa and foster discussion between participants around the core themes. This was achieved by including opportunities to break away into smaller groups for concurrent workshops and presentations while also allowing all participants to assemble as a collective for the keynote speakers.

Finally, the Toi Tangata Hui ā Tau 2019 reminded us once again of the significant work that is being done in the Māori public health space. Navigating this space can sometimes be difficult as kaimahi are often trying to reclaim indigenous practices to help improve health outcomes for Māori, often without a lot of academic evidence demonstrating that these practices work for communities. The keynote speakers demonstrated that there is emerging research being carried out all over Aotearoa, and the world, to empower Māori communities to reconnect with the knowledge that Māori inherited from their tūpuna.

It served as a strong reminder of the possibilities that te ao Māori can provide. That through this world view, and through reclaiming our oranga in our pūrākau, our karakia, our oriori, we are able to improve our wellbeing, feel more connected to our whenua, and reconnect more with our tupuna and culture, which are all crucial for achieving and maintaining hauora.