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Kei te kōrero he rongoā: The healing power of stories for Māori suicide prevention, postvention and well-being

Kei te kōrero, ka whai rongoā: Tō ngā pūrākau ihi whakamahu e whakahōtaeate ai i te whakamomoritanga Māori, e āwhina ai ā muri iho, e hauora ai hoki

Monday 15 February 2021

This one day wānanga elevates the mana of our stories and the power of talking about suicide prevention, postvention and healing. It utilises a Mātauranga and Kaupapa Māori Framework that includes Whakamōmori (suicide); whakamōmori ā muri (after suicide/postvention); Whaia te Mauriora (in pursuit of healing).

It brings the mana of leaders in the kaupapa to share stories and offer analysis for suicide prevention, postvention and healing. The entire focus of this Māori public health summer school programme is about the power of our voices and our stories for Māori suicide prevention, postvention and healing through trauma to achieve well-being of the whenua and the people.

Topics covered

  • Kōrero and Pūrakau – Māori methods of story-telling
  • Tikanga, Kaupapa and Mātauranga Māori – Situating stories in cultural contexts
  • Rongoā Māori – Story-telling as a Māori healing tradition
  • Ata haere – Safe storying of healing journeys
  • Tino Rangatiratanga – Māori political sovereignty stories
  • Whakapapa – Whakapapa stories that connect to healing and wellbeing
  • Toi Māori – Story-telling through Māori creative arts and expression

Style of course

This course combines keynote speakers/panels and performances that aim to engage participants fully in the kaupapa. There will be break out ‘healing’ space for those who wish to discuss the wānanga or just take time out. Rongoa practitioners and Māori counsellors will be available.

Who should attend?  

Those working in suicide prevention, postvention and healing with Māori who have some knowledge of story-telling and/or use story-telling in their practice. Those who attend should keep an open mind about Māori processes that may be for some, outside of the normative boundaries of clinical practice.

COVID-19 contingency plan

If COVID Alert Level restrictions prevent in-person/face-to-face delivery of this course, it will be delivered online the same day, and a credit of $100 given ($50 for those paying staff/student rate).

If the course is able to be delivered in person, but a participant cannot travel to Wellington due to COVID Alert Level restrictions, the course fee will be refunded in full.

Draft timetable (TBC)

Time Session Presenter(s)
8:30am Registration followed by Karakia/Waiata/Opening
9:00am Welcome and introduction to the day – why stories and storying our journeys matters/whose voices?
9:15am Mā te kōrero he rongoā Tikanga, Kaupapa, Mātauranga
9:45am Tino Rangatiratanga: Storying hope, storying moemoea for healing and wellbeing
10:30am Morning tea
11:00am Storying Māori traditional healing and therapeutics – Rongoā Māori, whenua, mara kai…karakia..panel and land based activism – panel
12:00pm Healing through Toi Māori/young Māori arts as story-telling
12:30pm Lunch break
1:45pm Session 3 (TBC)
1:30pm Data sovereignty – who owns our stories?
2:00pm Me Ata Haere – Safe story-telling
2:45pm Telling stories in ways that make us stronger (panel)
3:30pm Afternoon tea
4:00pm Discussion, wrap up and evaluation
5:30pm Keynote: Digital and Film based Story-telling
Film Screening
Finish with supper


(Either in person, by Zoom or recorded)

  • Dr Keri Lawson-Te Aho
  • Whāea Moe Milne
  • Whāea Tihi Puanaki
  • Matua Wiremu Puanaki Senior
  • Wiremu Junior
  • Dr Karlo Mila
  • Mr Ricci Solomon
  • Ms Tina Ngata
  • Dr Emalani Case (Hawai'i)
  • Mr Taawhana Chadwick
  • Dr Maria Baker
  • Dr Kahu McClintock
  • Mr Pio Terei
  • Māori film-makers Alesha Ahdar, Kahu Kutia
  • Māori artists and musicians: Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho, Izzy Te Aho White, Taranaki Ah Young Grace, Quishile Charan and Bronte Perry

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after Tuesday 22 December 2020.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now

Note COVID-19 contingency plan above. Any questions please see FAQ page or email