Whakaaetia te Hauora | Redefining Healthcare


  • Law of Movement | Tuhinga o mua
    Movement is fundamental to good health. Taha wairua | Spiritual health, Taha hinengaro | Mental health, and Taha tinana | Physical health. This promotes Family health | Taha whanau.
    Maintaining movement promotes good health. Failing to keep in motion is stagnation.
    These are also found in Maori culture. The spiritual essence of a person is their life force. This determines us as individuals and as a collective, who and what we are, where we have come from and where we are going.
    A traditional Māori analysis of physical manifestations of illness will focus on the wairua or spirit, to determine whether damage here could be a contributing factor. 
  • Law of Reciprocal Action | Ture mo te mahi whakautu
    Every thought, every action has consequences. Each human being is entirely responsible for his thoughts and actions. Learning from one’s action is the key to improvement. Repetitive behaviour leading to repetitive adverse consequences is stagnation and so is victimization.               
  • Law of Attraction of Homogeneous Species | Ture o te whakaongaonga o nga momo homogeneous
    Like attract like. Positive thoughts and actions attract the same. The reverse is equally true.
  • Law of Balance | Ture mo te tuku me te whiwhi
    Health require balance. Never take more than you give. Lack of balance brings adverse consequences.
  • Law of Spiritual Gravity | Ture o te wairua wairua
    Unresolved consequences (commonly called karma) adhere to the spirit, increasing its density. The density of the spirit determines its direction in life.
  • Law of Rebirth | Mano kano 
    The cycle of physical life and death involves multiple incarnations for the vast majority. Physical death is not the end of life for the person involved. Spiritual death is.
  • Divine Grace | Hanahana aroha 
    Even in the direst circumstances, a real change within a person can bring redemption.                                                                                                                              


Every human being is endowed with free will which allows for the potential for development and growth, thus providing a path towards Perfection. The exercise of free will must not be impeded.

Each person must also be aware that unresolved adverse consequences in their lives can adversely impact the expression of free will. A bound will is the result of such unresolved consequences that can alter the ability to choose freely.

Example of Breaches of Traditional Māori Ethics and Principles

  • 1.Ko te uru whakanunu | Unconstructive criticism and complaining
    While this behaviour may seem relatively minor, it had the potential to cause negative attitudes and beliefs within the collective. When an individual complained in this way, they were indirectly challenging the power structure of the tribe instead of directly resolving their conflict.
  • 2.Ko te kai a piko | Violation of another’s esteem
    This misconduct could manifest in many ways directly and indirectly. Any form of abuse whether it be physical, mental, emotional, or sexual would come under this definition. If left unchecked this could lead to internal conflict within the tribe.
  • 3.Ko te ha piro | The offensive breath. Back-biting/gossiping
    The ancients viewed one’s breath as being a sacred link to all life, past, present, and future. For this reason, it was essential to carefully monitor the things one said. In the old world, one insulting remark to another tribe could bring destruction down upon the entire tribe.
  • 4.Ko te piko atu, te piko mai | The endless bending. Violation of one's own esteem
    For someone to truly respect another they must respect themselves first. This concept refers to one who constantly lowers their own mana to please or placate another. This has the potential to cause an imbalance among the tribe as the individual may feel violated by others in the tribe that treat them as if they are of lower status.
  • 5.Ko te pawhera | Violation of the sanctity of women
    The women as Whare Tangata (Sacred House of Humankind) were extolled for the importance of their role within the tribe. Every human was born to women and for this reason their sacredness was essential for the wellbeing of the tribe. To violate women was to put the entire future of the tribe in jeopardy.
  • 6.Ko te tiki kopura | Negative expression of personal issues
    To force one’s personal beliefs, history, values, or dislikes on another demonstrated that the individual was not valuing or respecting the other members of the tribe. This also communicated an indirect challenge to the power structure of the tribe.

Ara (Way of truth)

A Hara or transgression requires a pathway of restitution (Ara) to redeem the adverse consequences of the transgression.

In traditional Maori society this would manifest itself as a Ritenga (Ritual) where the individual would pay in some form for the transgression that they had committed.

These teachings were essential to the wellbeing of the tribe and were followed for centuries in a time when belonging to a collective group was not just important but was vital for one’s survival. These principles promoted self-awareness and self-government, in other words behaviour in harmony with the basic precepts of LIFE.

One is encouraged to be aware of every thought, word and action and the effect that they could have on others.

These precepts were taught by the Tohunga to the rest of the tribe to point the way to a contented life, where the tribe could live in harmony and mutual respect, as it should be today also.

DISCLAIMER: The WHC does not endorse any information or advice from any other organisation unless it is specifically stated by the WHC.


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