Atua Matua Wānanga

Atua Matua Wānanga

The Atua Matua Wānanga took place in Waitara in early November hosted by Ihirangi Heke. Approximately 30 people were in attendance from local community activators, to public health advisors, and kaupapa Māori programme coordinators. 

With only a day to answer and talk through a wide range of kaupapa for all the diverse groups in the room, Ihirangi introduced the Atua Matua framework. He introduced the two concepts atua, mātauranga from the environment, and matua, mātauranga carried by the Iwi. In centring matauranga Māori, the incidental outcome of which is greater collective wellbeing. Matauranga Māori centred kaupapa also see whānau, hapū and Iwi drive and sustain kaupapa further than ‘hauora’ centred kaupapa. This calls for a shift in our conceptualisation and implementation of Māori public health moving forward. 

The four pou were shared with participants – (1) Matauranga Māori, the overarching principle that allows access to knowledge from different environments; (2) Whakapapa, allows a contextual relevance between a specific environment and the people from that location; (3) Huahuatau, the transferable capabilities we gain in applying knowledge of whakapapa or kōrero in a particular environment; (4) Whakatinanatanga is the action phase. Participants posed a number of questions specific to the fields in which they worked, from ‘how do we support whānau who are in a dark place?’ to ‘how can we support whānau with asthma?’ Ihirangi was able to give whakapapa kōrero for each of the pātai. He encouraged participants to seek out their own local whakapapa kōrero that could give more contextualised information for descendants. 

Although the seminar is usually run for three days, and was a little short for a lot of people having to fit into a single day, all of the participants enjoyed the wānanga, especially in these times of social isolation during COVID-19.  

View the Atua Matua Framework here.