Toi Ako Webinar: Disrupting mainstream discourses with a wairua centered approach

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Toi Ako Webinar: Disrupting mainstream discourses with a wairua centered approach

September 19, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 10:45 am


South Auckland has the largest Māori population in the world. Imagine if Māori:

  • Mobilised a collective voice for change
  • Lead discussions at decision making tables, at all levels across the system
  • Pioneered indigenous leadership for social change, locally, nationally and globally


In this free webinar, Mason Ngawhika, Nikki Timu and Anaru Ah Kew from Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, will demonstrate how they have provided the tools in support of localised Māori systems, which leverage ancestral practices to inform community-led solutions. They look to shift the focus from a human centred approach to a wairua centred approach that places the environment at the heart as an alternative to mainstream ideologies.

Through Māori systems the team aims to empower communities to return to a place of understanding, being observant and using Te Taiao (the natural environment) as well as Te Taiao Tangata (the built environment) to restore the natural balance and reciprocal relationship between manaaki whenua and manaaki tangata. This supports the notion that when the whenua is cared for, people are naturally ‘well’.

“Ko te awa ko au, ko au ko te awa”

The aim of this webinar is to:

  • Challenge dominant mainstream discourses which rely solely on Western science or Western health approaches to alleviate the burden of disease and degradation of our natural environment.
  • Encourage ways for Māori to move from being victims of change, to drivers of change through crafting solutions which enable Māori to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing climate and social system.
  • Showcase design thinking practices which reframe the paradigm of thinking to a wairua centred approach, which has an emphasis on the ecosystem rather than an ego-system.

About the Presenters

Mason Ngawhika

Mason Ngawhika (Te Arawa, Ngai Tahu) is the Kaiārahi Māori or the Māori Responsiveness Manager at Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura.Mason has a background in nutrition and public health. In the past Mason has worked for the Auckland Regional Public Health Service, Hāpai te Hauora and Toi Tangata.

Anaru Ah Kew

Anaru Ah Kew (Ngāti Hikairo, Ngāti Whawhakia, Kai Tahu) is the Kaiwhakaauaha Pūnaha in the Māori Responsiveness team at Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura.Anaru has a background in Māori mental health where he was responsible for embedding health initiatives within the organisation, focussing on improving health outcomes for Tangata Whaiora.


Nikki Timu

Nikki Timu (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Whakatohea) is the Lead Systems Innovator at Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura. She holds portfolios in the sport, physical activity and education spaces with a focus on Māori and indigenous people.Nikki has a background in tertiary education, as an academic in both sport and health contexts. She has recently completed a Master of Physical Education through the University of Otago exploring Māori perspectives on haka in sport.

Register Now


September 19, 2018
10:00 am - 10:45 am




Toi Tangata