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Medicine: Rongoā Māori

Rongoā Māori - Traditional Māori healing

Rongoā Māori is an important aspect of health care to many Māori, representing diversity of practice and a holistic approach to health. Native plant based remedies are an integral part of treatment along with physical therapies and spiritual healing. [BPAC, 2008, vol 13]


This information will be very useful for PHCY310-320, PSCI303 and PHAL307 students.


Recommended search techniques

Searching for resources on Rongoā

In Library Search | Ketu search by Subject: Rongoā

Or, a combination of keywords, e.g.:

rongoā AND tradition* AND health

"traditional medicine" AND therap* AND plants AND "New Zealand"

Or, modify your search with keywords or phrases like these synonyms:

rongoā  OR Maori herbal therapy OR traditional medicine New Zealand OR medicinal plants New Zealand OR Māori ethnobotany 

Filter results by Subject OR Type of resource OR Date OR Library location

Some recommended research articles:

Mark, G., Chamberlain, K., & Boulton, A. (2017). Acknowledging the Māori cultural values and beliefs embedded in rongoā Māori healing. International Journal of Indigenous Health12(1), 75–92.

Mark, G., Boulton, A., Allport, T., Kerridge, D., & Potaka-Osborne, G. (2022). “Ko Au te Whenua, Ko te Whenua Ko Au: I am the land, and the land Is me”: Healer/Patient views on the role of Rongoā Māori (Traditional Māori healing) in healing the land. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(14), Article 8547.

Boulton, A., Hudson, M., Ahuriri-Driscoll, A., & Stewart, A. (2014). Enacting Kaitiakitanga: Challenges and complexities in the governance and ownership of Rongoā research information. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 5(2), 1–18.

Mark, G., Boulton, A., & Kerridge, D. (2019). Rongoā Māori is not a complementary and alternative medicine: Rongoā Māori is a way of life. International Journal of Human Rights Education, 3(1), Article 12.

Recommended videos and websites

Recommended books



Providing safe and quality rongoā care to tūroro is paramount to the wellbeing of our communities.

The development of this document has been a collaborative journey with representatives from the rongoā sector that defines a benchmark of excellence to deliver safe and quality rongoā services.

This voluntary standard provides clear requirements for providers. It encourages and supports consistency of quality rongoā care and the ongoing development of the rongoā workforce. Guidance is provided in separate toolkits on how these requirements can be achieved (see next 5 slides).

Toolkit 1 - Tūroro Tino Rangatiratanga

This toolkit focuses on looking at treating the overall health of the tūroro in a holistic way. The total wellbeing of the tūroro is paramount.

Toolkit 2 - Te Pāharakeke o te Rongoā

This toolkit details structures, strategies, systems, policies and procedures that should be developed to ensure quality rongoā service delivery.

Toolkit 3 - Rongoā Taonga Tuku Iho

This toolkit endorses overarching principles that are the foundation for the development and implementation of a quality rongoā service.

Toolkit 4 - Te Mauri o te Rongoā

This toolkit upholds the preservation of mauri as the life principle for Māori wellbeing. Mauri weaves through aspects of rongoā service delivery, an essential essence of being, and an energy that permeates through all things, animate or inanimate.

Toolkit 5 - Te Kahukiwi Rongoā

This toolkit supports determining rongoā principles and practices within the context of rohe tikanga.