Wanakia Heather-Kingi wearing a white t-shirt, tweed jacket and pounamu necklace, standing in front of a black and white Toi Tangata banner.

Growing the Puna | Wanakia Heather-Kingi

Wanakia Heather-Kingi  (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Raukawa) 

During my time with Toi Tangata I have learned a lot about how I can apply a whakapapa Māori lens to my research topic through the application of mātauranga Māori. This has been an important start for me going forward with my career and I aim to keep this in mind with any future projects, as this was never something I got to do at university.  

During my time at Toi Tangata, we learned about the maramataka Māori. Whaea Vikki from Healthy Families Waitākere shared kōrero about the maramataka.  We also watched an informative webinar hosted by Toi Tangata about how to follow and apply the maramataka in our day-to-day life. Since that day, I have been trying to follow and align myself with the maramataka as much as I can. My research topic explores the ingoa Māori, the whakapapa and the purpose of the essential elements to inform oranga kai, oranga tinana. 

At university, we learned about the essential elements and their purpose, however, we did not learn about the ingoa Māori and whakapapa so this was an interesting topic to take on. I focused on seven essential elements and four additional non-essential elements and looked at not only the ingoa Māori, whakapapa and purpose but also looked at which kai were rich in each of the nutrients and which realm of atua they fall under. I also included the recommended daily intake of each mineral as well as the amounts of minerals in each kai to get a better picture of how much we should be aiming for each day and how that looks.

Learn more about Wanakia’s kaupapa here.