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Using the Te Pae Māhutonga framework in public health

Te Pae Mahutonga model of Māori Health Promotion.Community and Public Health uses the Te Pae Māhutonga framework to ensure that all the essential aspects of health promotion and protection are addressed in their work.

Te Pae Māhutonga is the name for the constellation of stars popularly referred to as the Southern Cross. The constellation is used as a symbolic model by Professor Sir Mason Durie for bringing together the significant components of health promotion, as they apply to Māori health as well as to other New Zealanders.

The four central stars can be used to represent the four key tasks of health promotion and reflect particular goals: Mauriora, Waiora, Toiora, Te Oranga. The two pointers are Ngā Manukura and Te Mana Whakahaere and represent two pre-requisites for effectiveness, namely leadership and autonomy.

Mauriora: Cultural identity

In the original Te Pae Māhutonga framework Mauriora refers to access to te ao Māori – Māori language, knowledge, culture, economic and social resources, and to societal domains where being Māori is facilitated rather than hindered.

Mauriora also encompasses other ethnic groups having a secure sense of cultural identity founded in meaningful contact with their language, customs and cultural inheritance.

Ngā Manukura: Leadership

Leadership for the promotion of health and wellbeing in our communities needs to occur at a range of levels from leadership for the community through community role models and among peer groups. Communication, collaboration and alliances between all social leaders and groups are important.

Te Mana Whakahaere: Autonomy

Communities – whether they be based on hapū, marae, iwi, whānau or places of worship, interest or residence – must ultimately be able to demonstrate a level of autonomy and self-determination in promoting their own health and wellbeing.

Te Mana Whakahaere addresses the extent to which communities themselves take ownership of, and have a degree of autonomy over, improving their own health and wellbeing.

Te Oranga: Participation in society

It is now well recognised that health cannot be separated from socioeconomic circumstances. Health is impacted by the extent to which people feel part of – and able to participate in – society.

This participation includes the goods and services people can rely on and the confidence with which they can access those goods and services, a good income and employment, education, or sport and recreation.

Toiora: Healthy lifestyles

Toiora is concerned with personal behaviour and the type of lifestyle we choose to live. Major changes in the way we work, how we get around, and how we spend our leisure time mean that many of us are sedentary for much of the time, even though physical activity should be a part of everyday life.

Other aspects of our lifestyles also have a significant effect on health and wellbeing, including nutrition, consumption of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, work-life balance, crime, and gambling.

Risky behaviours are highest where poverty is greatest, in youthful populations and where risk-taking behaviour is the norm within a community or whānau. A shift from harmful lifestyles to healthy lifestyles requires actions at all levels.

Waiora: Environmental protection

Waiora refers to the external world and the connection between people and the environment. As well as sustaining life in a physical sense, the environment is essential to cultural wellbeing for many people by providing a sense of place. For Māori this is expressed through the concept of turangawaewae – a place to stand.

Waiora includes protecting the environment so water, land and air are clean and biodiversity is preserved and enhanced, and there are opportunities for people to experience the natural environment.

Elements of Te Pae Mahutonga.

Page last updated: 21/04/2020

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