Our Mātāpono | Our Principles

Hongihongi te Wheiwheiā

Inhale the unusual

Is the most challenging Te Kurahuna principle of ‘embracing a culture of feedback.’ It speaks to continually striving to do better. Specifically, practitioners are urged to constantly seek feedback from whānau and their colleagues on their performance in the journey of providing care and support and to be especially open and responsive to negative feedback.

Promote a Culture of Feedback

Ka mā te Ariki, ka mā te Tauira

As the teacher is enriched, so too is the student

This Mahi a Atua principle is taken from a Te Kurahuna karakia. This ‘active learning’ principle encourages us to be responsive to each other and to our environment.  As we learn to be open to other perspectives we grow our ability to expand our thinking.  An active learner embraces feedback and adjusts their behaviours accordingly.  The ariki, seen as the teacher, is actively learning in the presence of the student, while the student is open to learning from the teacher.

Remain an Active Learner

Tēnei te Pō, Nau mai te Ao

Coming in from the dark, welcoming the light

Is taken from a karakia of Te Kurahuna. It encourages the transfer of mātauranga Māori learning into everyday professional and personal life and its conceptual translation is ‘Indigenise your space’. This principle drives the objective of introducing a Māori perspective into daily and professional life and thereby mitigating the effects of institutional racism – privileging ‘mātauranga Māori’ rather than the more deficit-based ‘culturally appropriate’ services model.

Indigenise Your Space

One of our whānau was moved by her Mahi a Atua experience and wrote this kōrero tairitenga:

Innate shapeshifting
Mai Hawaaiki, from hawaaiki we unfurl
Ki Hawaaiki, to all the way back there again
And again
And again
So I’m out here driving my ancestral superhighway
Without a driver’s license
Helm of my own waka
Beneath the stars
Beacons of cultural navigation that traverse ions of time
But I’m not yet confident to read
Or maybe it’s trust
Or maybe a type of spiritual dyslexia
That I feel connection
As sure as my pulse
I am my ancestors
Mahi a Atua is a refuge
A space to make sense of the murkiness
A place where we shapeshift between rehutaitanga and hukuataitanga
And then harness the confidence to take it out for a spin.

By Dayle Takitimu 14.06.2017


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