Rongoā Māori practitioners Mini and Ualesi Vaega spent two years building a space for wānanga, healing, and wellbeing.
The couple noticed that tohunga travelling to the area needed a place to rest before continuing their work. Then were inspired by a vision and design for a Rongoā clinic and told if they built it, people would come. Which they did, and it has continued to grow.
The view from the whare looks over the Waitangi River’s mouth, which Ualesi said is fitting considering its history.
“The purpose of this whare is for healing and wānanga, and we know that during the early colonial years, this land hosted many wānanga where hapū leaders would gather to share, to learn, and plan.”
With wooden beams cut from trees from the land, the bricks handmade from clay, or the carefully considered location of crystals under the floorboards, the whare serves as a calm and healing space for anyone who needs care.
“The word whakarongo means to listen, but within that word is rongo, which means peace. When we slow down and take time to really listen to our bodies, our environment and our spirits, we can be guided to find peace,” affirmed Ualesi, reflecting on the busyness of our lives and the need for spaces that allow us to slow down and listen.
Minni shared that truly and deeply listening is an act of reclaiming the power to heal ourselves.
“We are more than just our physical bodies. We are spiritual beings, and we are energy. Rongoā is not about treating symptoms. It’s about a complete way of living.”
Minni and Ualesi’s Rongoā clinic is open to the community at the Haruru Falls Clinic on Thursdays between 9am-3pm. It is delivered by the Taonga Hauora Trust in collaboration with the Northland DHB funded Rongoā pilot.
“The call to include Rongoā as a treatment avenue came from whānau right across Te Tai Tokerau. This initiative was driven by the people, co-designed with local Rongoā experts, and backed by the Northland DHB. We are thrilled to be supporting the vision whānau have for their health and wellbeing,” said Viv Beazley, Northland DHB.
To make a booking, email email@example.com.
Rongoā Māori practitioners Mini and Ualesi Vaega
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