Te Ritō Oranga Traditional Māori Healing Course

A 14-day practitioner training and retreat January 2018

Te Ritō Oranga: the “core of wellness” from within.
Everything comes from a seed, and inside of the seed is
the “living essence” of that seed; this is “ Te Ritō”


A unique sacred journey of learning and healing, held and guided by our Maori elders, healers and teachers from Ngati Whatua iwi, from the Auckland region, together with other Māori kaiako (teachers) from other regions of Aotearoa sharing their wisdom and knowledge through immersion in Te Ao Māori (the Māori world) and practical aspects of healing. This allows the experience of re-connection to our authentic Self, deepening our relationship with nature: Papatuanuku (the earth), Ranginui (the sky), Te Moana (the ocean), Nga Maunga (the mountains), Nga Awa (the rivers) and Ngahere (the forest). Integral to the learning will be an understanding our whakapapa (genealogical connection to the ancestors).

The programme is designed to foster connections, to grow in knowledge and understanding of how we are connected to the whole web of life – mauri, and how this fosters well-being (mauri ora) on all levels: wairua (spirit), hinengaro (thought, intellect), mahamaha (emotion) and tinana (the physical). Re-establishing this relationship is the key to unity.

Pathway to Healing

This programme is suitable for practitioners of any healing modality, who wish to extend their skills and knowledge into the traditional healing methods of the Maori, or those simply wishing to experience Te Ao Maori in a deep and authentic way. It is a journey into our sacred relationship with nature and how this has the potential to restore balance and harmony to the individual and the society.

The programme will allow you to discover your unique healing ability and develop this through the guidance of the experienced tohunga (medicine men and women) from Ngati Whatua and other iwi.

The basis of the programme will be to discover the essence (Te Ritō) of life and how this activates the mauri ora (breath of life), wai ora (waters of life) and the hauora (vigour) to create harmony and healing. Te Ritō Oranga is rooted in the practical wisdom that guides the traditional healing methods of the Māori.

The Kaiako (Teaching Team)

The team of Maori Wisdom Keepers Naida Glavish, of the Ngati Whatua iwi and a team of other prominent Maori practitioners will lead the course, including other teachers from other iwi,  Te Kaha (Master Pounamu Carver), James Webster (Traditional Maori Instruments), and Wiremu Sarich (Traditional Maori Games) will guide you and hold you as family, on an immersion in tikanga (cultural ways) and the application of these practices – introducing traditional ways of healing and strengthening the mind, body and soul.

Components of the Programme

  • Rongoa (healing with native plants)
  • Practical medicine making with the native plants
  • Whaikairo (greenstone carving)
  • Mirimiri and romiromi (body therapies)
  • Waiata (song)
  • Karakia (ritual chanting)
  • Puoro (creating and playing traditional musical instruments)
  • Raranga (weaving using natural materials)
  • Haerenga (sacred journey, including marae stay, hot pools and caves where tohunga were initiated in early times)

Through all your journeying and crafting you will encounter and experience a new shaping that is compelling and profound.

Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those who attend the whole course.
For more information about the course and our Scholarship program, please contact our Te Ritō Oranga Co-ordinator.

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Whakairo / Carving Pounamu


Te Kaha is one of New Zealand’s most influential and respected contemporary pounamu carvers.
The artist has been working with greenstone for the past two decades and his respect for the stone is obvious both in the way he works and in the beauty of the finished product.
Te Kaha’s creations display a fluidity of form and line more commonly seen in early hand-made examples of pounamu carving – especially Hei Tiki and Hei Matau. He believes that understanding pounamu is both a learned and inherited ability and his work over the past couple of decades means that he has honed his knowledge and skill into a fine art.
“The work I do with Pounamu involves translating a thought, a whakaaro, into a Taonga (Treasure). I work the Pounamu as did my tipuna, to hold the energy, the essence of the concept within the design.” Te Kaha

Sacred Journey


Sacred Journey with the medicine man and woman at their marae, hotpools and many other places sacred to them.
On the Sacred Journey module you will contribute service to the creation of an eco-sustainable marae. You will also visit several waters (rivers) to enliven your ‘waiwaia – spirit waters’. Some, perhaps all of you will experience a quickening, a moment when something dawns in your heart mind. These will be opportunities to capture those moments in ‘wai-ata -dawning light songs’ that you can return with and pass forward to others.
Sacred Journey: Te Wai Hou, Te Wai Hanga – The New Water, The Creation Water. Our journey is to do with Wai which means ‘water’, ‘song’ and ‘spirit’. ‘Hou’ means ‘new’. “Hanga’ is ‘to create’, ‘to build’. Wai is the holder of all memories. It is a journey to expand into your ‘waiwaia – spirit beauty’.

Raranga / Weaving


Raranga / Weaving will be a key part of the Marae experience in the Sacred Journey. For many growing up around the pa harakeke, the experiences in and around this strong native plant has not only informed the way they work with it but also the way in which it is shared with others.
Elders sat in raranga circles creating taonga with flax and this is a tradition that is followed with whanau and fellow weavers. This module will navigate this transformational journey of mahi raranga with you and share some of the on-going learning of working with flax.
From kete to wearable arts, mahi raranga is a tool to unlock, to explore, to discover your creative expression – it is a time for healing and rejoicing.

A typical day will run from 9:00am until 6:30pm. Some days may benefit from an extra hour or two into the evening.
Participants who attend the whole experience will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Excerpts from Makuini’s book He Taonga Whakahirahira – Treasures That Energise

“Kia maumahara ki tou mana ahua ake.
Cherish your absolute uniqueness.
(Mana refers to power, charisma, prestige, pride. Each person has their own personal mana.)

“Me whakaaro rangatira.
Think only the highest thoughts.”
(A Rangtira is a person of high integrity.)

“Me kimihia te ara totika hei oranga mo to ao.
Seek the right path to benefit your world.”

“Ko te kaupapa o te maramatanga he rite ki nga ihi o te ra.
The purpose of enlightenment, is that it be as clear as the sun’s rays.”
(Pursue higher learning for it is the pathway to freedom.)