Here you will find links to various Māori health frameworks/models. These provide a starting point for addressing the needs of Māori. The role that the natural environment plays in the way Māori view the world is evident in the following material.  

(All information remains the property of the author/s)



The development of the framework, its structure and systems, has been a collaborative effort over several years by a group of individuals and at times has involved Ngā Manga Puriri, ADHB Māori Mental Health, NAC, Matua Raḵi and the Northern Region Māori Workforce Development Group. The Roopu Kaitiaki continues to safeguard and preserve the cultural and intellectual integrity of the taonga they shaped.

This framework has been adopted by practitioners in health and social services across a number of roles and disciplines and in various rohe, and it has been adapted to meet the needs of public health practitioners, HR teams and Whānau ora collectives. 

People engaging in other competency requirements of their profession (such as social workers and nurses) have found the framework a useful complement to evidence their Māori responsiveness requirements.

What we offer 

Matua Raki offer subsidies to organisations undertaking the 2 day Introductory training facilitated by Moe Milne. For further details and bookings please email Moe directly [email protected].

Takarangi Competency Framework (TCF) Development Group The Development Group has assumed the role of roopu Kaitiaki for the TCF, protecting its integrity, its history and future development. The members are: Titari Eramiha, Nellie Rata, Moe Milne, Delaraine Armstrong, Te Puea Winiata, Dr. Paul Robertson, Salvesta Leef, Pam Armstrong. Photographer Terry Huriwai

click here for more information


This health model was developed by Professor Mason Durrie. This Māori philosophy towards health is based on a wellness or holistic health model. Seeing health as a four-sided concept representing four basic beliefs of life:

Te Taha Hinengaro (psychological health)

Te Taha Wairua (spiritual health)

Te Taha Tinana (physical health)

Te Taha Whānau (family health)

The Whare Tapa Wha can be applied to any health issue affecting Māori from physical to psychological well-being.

The following aspects of Whare Tapa Wha are described below:


 Te Wheke - Māori Health Model - click here for the pdf version

Te Wheke image.

The concept of Te Wheke, the octopus, is to define family health. The head of the octopus represents te whānau, the eyes of the octopus as waiora (total wellbeing for the individual and family) and each of the eight tentacles representing a specific dimension of health. The dimensions are interwoven and this represents the close relationship of the tentacles.

Te whānau – the family
Waiora – total wellbeing for the individual and family
Wairuatanga – spirituality
Hinengaro – the mind
Taha tinana – physical wellbeing
Whānaungatanga - extended family
Mauri – life force in people and objects
Mana ake – unique identity of individuals and family
Hā a koro ma, a kui ma – breath of life from forbearers
Whatumanawa – the open and healthy expression of emotion

This model was developed by Rose Pere.

Traditional Māori health acknowledges the link between the mind, the spirit, the human connection with whānau, and the physical world in a way that is seamless and uncontrived. Until the introduction of Western medicine there was no division between them.




Dr Ihirangi Heke - Waikato Tainui


Connection health and Māori concepts of the environment is now small task.  Not only has a large amount of Māori knowledge been lost over the years, but what is retained is sometimes jealously protected and intended for only a select few tribal recipients.  Likewise, an attempt to conceptualise the range of Māori interpretations of health, may well be inappropriate in terms of encouraging iwi (tribal) definitions.  Furthermore, many non-Māori are left wondering how then can they feasibly expect to operate in this domain considering the current status of Māori engagement with not only health but the environment.  There is a way forwards.

To find out more about Dr Ihirangi's Atua Matua Framework - click here


Te Pae Mahutonga (Southern Cross Star Constellation) brings together elements of modern health promotion.

In the diagram below, the four central stars of the Southern Cross represent four key tasks of health promotion:

  • Mauriora (cultural identity)
  • Waiora (physical environment)
  • Toiora (healthy lifestyles)
  • Te Oranga (participation in society)

The two pointers represent Ngā Manukura (community leadership) and Te Mana Whakahaere (autonomy).

Te Pae Mahutonga diagram.

This model was developed by Mason Durie.


In 1984 Mason Durie documented a framework for understanding Māori health, Te Whare Tapa Wha, which has subsequently become embedded in Māori health policy. In addition, the adoption of this framework is now widespread among Māori and Iwi health and disability service providers and clinicians. Within psychological practice Te Whare Tapa Wha forms the foundation of a number of practice frameworks. This article presents a specifi c assessment framework, the Meihana Model, which encompasses the four original cornerstones and inserts two additional elements. These form a practice model (alongside Māori beliefs, values and experiences) to guide clinical assessment and intervention with Māori clients and whānau accessing mental health services. This paper outlines the rationale for and background of the Meihana Model and then describes each dimension: whānau, wairua, tinana, hinengaro, taiao and iwi katoa. The model provides a basis for a more comprehensive assessment of clients/whānau that then underpins appropriate treatment decisions.

(PDF) Meihana Model: A Clinical Assessment Framework. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241393435_Meihana_Model_A_Clinical_Assessment_Framework [accessed Sep 28 2018].

Image result for meihana model


In this model, harakeke, the flax bush, is used to symbolise the whānau. This is reflected in the proverb listed above which reflects the Māori reference to the harakeke plant as a whānau or family group. The Pā Harakeke model shows the child (Rito) at the centre of the whānau being surrounded, nurtured and protected by parents (Awhi Rito) and grandparents (Tūpuna) and ancestors. Accordingly, the proverb reflects that without the sound of children in the world (the next generation) mankind will not survive. The idea of Te Pā Harakeke (several flax bushes linked together at the roots) gives us a useful way to understand how whānau are linked. Te Pā Harakeke especially values mokopuna (the young, our children) -  they are embraced within whānau, hapū and iwi and remind us that we must care for our babies so that they grow strong, resilient and unified.

Reference: http://www.paharakeke.co.nz/pa-harakeke/about-harakeke/

Image result for pa harakeke

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