Helping whanau care


Tess provides an introduction on her new, three-year Health Research Council NZ grant.

The Te Ārai Kaumātua Rōpū want to support Māori whānau who will provide care for someone in the future. They recognise that not all whānau have been able to retain mātauranga (knowledge) of their tribal tikanga (customs) and kawa (protocols) related to caregiving. The Pae Herenga* study aims to explore traditional Māori whānau end of life care customs and how whānau adapt these to inform their current end of life care practices to share with whānau health and palliative care services (including hospice).

We are collaborating with 4 Community Research Collaborator groups. We will be interviewing 20 whānau including a person who has a life limiting, 20 Māori palliative care professionals; 20 Rongoā Māori clinicians and 20 tōhunga (spiritual care) practitioners across 4 sites (Mid-North, Hastings, Whanganui and Wellington). We also will investigate factors that enable or hinder whānau to carry out their care customs within different care settings. Later, we will share this information, firstly with our participants, then with their communities and with local and national health and palliative care services and in a free online educational resource.

We are grateful that the Health Research Council NZ, Rangahau Hauora funding stream, is supporting this research study, 2017-2020.

*What Does Pae Herenga Mean?

Pae’ means ‘horizon’ and’ Herenga’ means locked into a connection. So Pae Herenga can be translated as ‘the continuing flow of the horizon.’

Māori believe that the first horizon ‘o te ao wairua’ (the world of spirituality) begins before birth and progresses through to ‘te ao kikokiko’ (the physical world) and concludes with the spirit’s return to the place we were first suckled ‘ka hoki ki te ūkaipō’ (the return to our original home), ‘te ao wairua te Rangiātea, te Ururangi (the spiritual realm); in this way Pae Herenga study is interested in the life cycle of people.

“Tēnei te porohita o te mana wairua, te mana tangata, tae noa ki te tūranga o te Puhitau”; this recognises that the life cycle promotes maturity of spirit and maturity of humanity in people. Joining the two parts, we arrive at the standard of Puhitau
(mature experienced child of Io Matua).

Upon death the one that transitions to the heavenly realm is rewarded and inherits all the Creator has. Following death, we achieve the continuing joint flow of the many parts of the horizon, called TE PAE HERENGA.

Read more on this topic… 

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