Te Whare Tapa Whā was developed by leading Māori health advocate and researcher Professor Sir Mason Durie in 1984, to provide a Māori perspective on health. It provides a useful way for Māori to think about health, as a whare. The whare, known as Te Whare Tapa Whā, has four walls and each wall represents a different dimension of health.

All four walls are needed, and must be in balance, for the house to be strong. So taking care of your physical health is important, but to live your best possible life, you also need to pay attention to your mental health, spirituality and the strength of your whānau.
The good news is there are lots of everyday things you can do to build health in these four areas. You’re probably doing a lot of them already – it’s just a case of recognising their value and making them a priority.

The Hauora Tāne project is starting a conversation with tāne and their loved ones, about what these four ingredients for good health mean to them, and how they look after their own wellbeing.

Practical suggestions and inspiration for increasing health and wellbeing are provided under the headings of the Five Ways to Wellbeing Nga Ara Rima ki te Oranga– that build on international research.

Did you know?

Te Whare Tapa Whā was developed in 1984 at Hui Taumata in response to Rapuora, a piece of research undertaken 1978– 1980 by the Maori Women’s Welfare League that uncovered the issues and barriers Maori were experiencing in health. These experiences had led to disengagement with health professionals and were resulting in a declining health status – the primary barriers were around the lack of spiritual recognition and perceived racism. Te Whare Tapa Whā became the conceptual framework to support health practitioners improve their engagement with Maori and for spirituality to be more readily acknowledged. Hauora Tane uses it as a way of thinking about what tāne can do to support their own health.