Rongoa New Zealand

Information for students of Rongoa Maori

Archive for the ‘Books & DVDs’

New Epiphyte Field Guide

Click the link  below for more information about an amazing new plant ID book written by Catherine Kirby.

It contains great pictures and is small enough to take with you into the ngahere.  Catherine is a dedicated botanist who has a keen interest in rongoa Maori.

NZ Epiphyte Field Guide

Tahua-roa Korare – new book on Maori foods

This is the second booklet in a series aligned to Māori foods.

114 pages which introduce over 30 korare or Māori

green vegetables sourced from freshwater or coastal areas,

the forest or bush, as weeds in crops, or as crops. Each

korare is introduced including whakapapa references,

botanical status, utility and nutritional value where

possible. The book also includes recipes, a glossary of

Māori terms and an example of the maramataka Māori

 Books are $25 each plus $2 postage. You can order them by sending your;

Name, Postal address, Email,Contact phone number/s & Number of copies required to;

Tahuri Whenua

P O Box 1458


Payment is by Internet banking to;

Tahuri Whenua (National Bank – NZ) 06 0746 0294543 01

Rongoa Maori Booklet

I would like to thank Dr Rosemary Beresford and her students from the Otago University School of Pharmacy for so graciously sharing their wonderful work and this document with our group.  This document outlines some of the traditional medicinal uses of our native plants and is available free to you by clicking this link.

Rongoa maori bklet Otago

New Zealand’s Native Trees

This book contains beautiful pictures and information about manyNew Zealandnative trees.   It is great for helping to identify species.  It also explains botanical terms in plain english which is great for budding rongoa Maori enthusiatists.  Not all trees are included but certainly many of the most common.  It is a real treasure but not one for taking into the bush with you for a starter it is too heavy.  The John Dawson and Rob Lucas are well respected in their field and have many earlier titles aboutNew Zealandflora to their credit.

The book took 7 years to produce and recently won the 2012 New Zealand Post

by John Dawson & Rob Lucas

Book of the Year Award.  It costs about $120 and is available from most booksellers nationwide.


Wai262 Report

Kia ora koutou

The Waitangi Tribunal has released their report into the Wai262 Claim recommending wide-ranging reforms to laws and policies affecting Māori culture and identity and calling for the Crown-Māori relationship to move beyond grievance to a new era based on partnership .

What is the Wai 262 claim?

Wai 262 is the 262nd claim registered with the Waitangi Tribunal.

The claim was lodged on 9 October 1991 by six claimants on behalf of themselves and their iwi: Haana Murray (Ngāti Kurī), Hema Nui a Tawhaki Witana (Te Rarawa), Te Witi McMath (Ngāti Wai), Tama Poata (Ngāti Porou), Kataraina Rimene (Ngāti Kahungunu), and John Hippolite (Ngāti Koata).

What is the claim about?

The claim is about the place of Māori culture, identity and traditional knowledge in New Zealand’s laws, and in government policies and practices. It concerns who controls Māori traditional knowledge, who controls artistic and cultural works such as haka and waiata, and who controls the environment that created Māori culture.

It also concerns the place in contemporary New Zealand life of core Māori cultural values such as the obligation of iwi and hapū to act as kaitiaki (cultural guardians) towards taonga (treasured things) such as traditional knowledge, artistic and cultural works, important places, and flora and fauna that are significant to iwi or hapū identity.

How significant is this inquiry?

The Wai 262 inquiry is one of the most complex and far-reaching in the Tribunal’s history. It is the Tribunal’s first whole-of-government inquiry.

It is also the first Tribunal inquiry to specifically address the Treaty relationship beyond the settlement of historical grievances.

What does the Treaty say about Māori culture and identity?

The Treaty established a partnership between Māori and the Crown. Through this partnership, the Crown won the right to govern and enact laws, but that right was qualified by the guarantee of ‘tino rangatiratanga’ (full authority) for iwi and hapū over their ‘taonga katoa’ (all their treasured things).

This requires the Crown, as far as practicable, to ensure that iwi and hapū have authority over taonga such as those referred to above, which are core aspects of Māori culture and identity.

The Tribunal recognises that in a modern New Zealand context full authority will not always be possible, and that the interests of iwi and hapū will instead have to balanced alongside the interests of other New Zealanders.

Is the Wai 262 inquiry about historical claims?No. Though the claimants raised historical issues, the Tribunal felt that in general they were better considered in district inquiries. The Wai 262 inquiry has therefore focused largely on contemporary relationships between the Crown and Māori.

That does not mean history has been ignored. Many contemporary issues arise from historical actions such as the loss of tribal land and Crown suppression of the Māori language and culture through the education system and laws such as the Tohunga Suppression Act. But in general the focus of the Tribunal’s findings and recommendations is on the contemporary relationship between the Crown and Māori, not on past grievances.

What has the Tribunal recommended?

The Tribunal’s recommendations 


 the establishment of new partnership bodies in education, conservation, and culture and heritage; a new commission to protect Māri cultural works against derogatory or offensive uses and unauthorised commercial uses; a new funding agent for māauranga Māri in science; and expanded roles for some existing bodies including Te Taura Whiri (the Māri Language Commission), the newly established national rongoābody Te Paepae Matua mōte Rongoā and Māri advisory bodies relating to patents and environmental protection.

 improved support for rongoāMāri (Māri traditional healing), te reo Māri, and other aspects of Māri culture and Māri traditional knowledge

 amendments to laws covering Māri language, resource management, wildlife, conservation, cultural artifacts, environmental protection, patents and plant varieties, and more.

Who is the Tribunal?

The Waitangi Tribunal is a permanent commission of inquiry. It was established to consider and make recommendations on claims brought by Māri about Crown acts or omissions that breach the promises made in the Treaty. The Tribunal was established in 1975 by the Treaty of Waitangi Act.

The Wai 262 panel comprised Justice Joe Williams (presiding officer), Keita Walker, Pamela Ringwood and Roger Maaka.

Why has the report taken so long to complete?

There are many reasons. Initially, priority was given to district hearings in order to support the process of settling historical Treaty grievances, so the Tribunal did not begin hearing the claim until some years after it was lodged. Subsequently, arguments between the Crown and claimants about the scope of the claim, the ill health of the first presiding officer, the extraordinary breadth and complexity of the claim, the need to keep up with an ever-changing law and policy environment, and competing priorities have all contributed to the time the inquiry has taken.

To read a full copy of the report the following is a link to the Waitangi Tribunal website

Earth Whisperers – Sky Whisperers – Water Whisperers

Earth whisperers Paptuanuku

These are very inspirational documentaries  about this land, its water and the sky.  They present the views of a number of New Zealanders passionate about our place and protecting for future generations.

I particularly enjoyed listening to the korero of the diverse individuals talking about their motivations and dreams for the work they do.  In my view it these movies are testiment to the humility and commitment of some special Kiwi’s that we could all learn something from.

Price:  $33 each including postage

And available from  Wick Candle Films email:

Available from Donna Kerridge

Rongoa Maori – a practical guide to traditional Maori Medicine

Rongoa Maori - A practicle guide to traditional Maori Medicine

I received my copy of Rob McGowan’s book this morning and sat down in a quiet place for a quick flick through to hold me over until I had time to read it properly.  Not so – after reading the first few pages everything else went on hold and I had to read the whole thing in one sitting.

What a wonderful book!!!! It focuses on important concepts (so often avoided or poorly articulated) that are challenging to communicate in the language of today, and it is done so well. It felt like I had a kaumatua sitting on my shoulder as I was reading, with all the warmth and love only they can exude when they are wanting to share something important with you.  It is a book that I will read over and over again when I am in need of guidance and as I work to develop my learning of Rongoa Maori.  As I do I am sure some passages will take on new significance to me as my learning evolves.  The principles outlined in this book are the same as those that Rob shares in workshops and they feel like a map on how to exist in real harmony.  Thank you Rob for taking the time to write and share this in a way that we can not only read and refer to it often but feel it and know that it is right!  Thank you also to Karen Tindall for your support to Rob and making this happen.

If you are looking for a rongoa recipe book this is not it.  If you are looking for a book that clarifies/reminds us of all those little gems (and very important concepts) that Pa shares with us at our workshops then this is your book!!!

Price:  $15 each (a postage and handling fee may apply)

To order copies of this book please contact;

Robert McGowan, 213 Waitao Road, RD5, Tauranga 3175.

Plant Heritage New Zealand

Title   Plant Heritage New Zealand Te Whakapapa O Nga Rakau Interpreting The Special Features Of Native Plants 
Author  Tony Foster

ISBN   9780143009795 

Format Paperback, 208 pages 

Publisher   PENGUIN BOOKS Raupo Publishing (NZ) Ltd 

Publication Date   27 October2008 
Recommended Retail Price:  $49.95

Rob’s Choice

 Plant Heritage New Zealand looks at the unique characteristics of New Zealand’s plants, and what makes them so special. It delves into the origins and evolution of the plants, how they have inspired songs, poems and works of art, Maori myths, stories and proverbs associated with them, and their many uses as a natural resource. Part 2 presents a selection of the plants and looks at classification, names, botanical description, traditional and modern uses, cultural heritage and significance to Maori. Tony Foster’s stunning photos highlight the beauty of the plants, as well as helping with identification.