Marara Grace Rogers-Koroheke
Psychologist, Hauora Hokianga, Northland, NZ
As an employee of Hauora Hokianga for 17 years, community development and Maori Health research was the main focus of this role. Hauora Hokianga has engaged in a number of commuity research studies in partnership with ESR and the collective community.
A number of environmental studies such as Waste water management on marae; Aged care ‘Bring me beyond vulnerability’; Rural Hospitals and health care into community; Point of Care (POCT) study and “Ko tou manawa, ko toku manawa ka ora: suffering and culture” are examples of the research studies conducted. Hauora Hokianga were awarded the Team Award for excellence in indigenous evaluation for the Report ‘Tukua te wai kia rere’, received in Canberra at the Australasian Evaluation Society, International Evaluation Conference - 4th September 2017.
Ko tou Manawa, ko toku Manawa ka ora: Suffering and Culture
With a growing interest in the influence of culture on pain and the relief of pain, this paper serves to illustrate ways in which our tupuna experienced and addressed pain relief. Little has been published on how Maori view the experience of pain, the ways in which pain is evidenced, its impact on the individual and community and methods of pain relief and release. This paper begins to tell that story.
In a study conducted within the communities serviced by Hauora Hokianga two focus group hui were undertaken with a total of 16 kuia and kaumatua and 9 individual interviews. These participants discussed the ways in which they recalled from their parents and grandparents practises how pain was addressed. Their narratives provide the raw data that comprises this work and thematic analysis has been used to draw out common themes from this data.
Over time much has changed to the point where many elements in our tupuna’s lives have been denigrated, have been labelled as ‘old wives tales’ or simply forgotten as society has put up barriers to these practices encouraging many to put these practices aside and to adopt western medical practices instead. Through these colonising practices much of value has been lost.
This paper illustrates these matters through ‘places of sanctuary’. We have adopted in this study to include a number of ways and means of identifying, exploring and analysing the data around the expression of pain. In the so-called ‘places of sanctuary’ we consider more than the physical geographic place, but also temporal and ‘wairua’ place and space. Waiata in particular is a powerful descriptor of pain that may also provide the rongoa to assuage a particular type of pain.
In raising these views, we hope that clinicians may become more aware of these sensitivities and explore just how they might adopt or adapt such matters into their clinical practise.