On Thursday 1st of August a group of aspiring Māori physiotherapy students made the trek south to Dunedin for our Tae Ora Tinana hui tauira (student hui) at Puketeraki Marae.
These tauira (students) from Auckland were hoping for adventure and weren't disappointed!
We knew we were up for an adventure down to the deep south but not a frantic rush, as one of the students confused flight times am with pm. A few diversions and a lot of apologising later we were in the depths of the cold south where we were met by bleak gray skies and an un-Auckland-like 30C. So the adventure had begun.
We had a couple of days to see the sights of Dunedin. A trip to Baldwin Street, world’s steepest street was an eye opener. The self-guided tour around Otago University campus was also interesting, seeing the architecture of the clock tower and the size of the St Davids Street lecture theatre with a capacity which seemed similar to the Forsythe Barr segment of the grandstand. We met up with Aunty Pearl, the Tumuaki of Te Huka Matauraka, Otago University’s Māori Centre. She welcomed us with open arms and we heard the similarities and contrasts of an Otago University student’s life compared to our own at AUT.
Our powhiri was presided over by Matua Bill and Whaea Pat, our kaumatua and kuia. The warmth of having them supporting our kaupapa during the hui was immeasurable and special thanks must go to them for their aroha and manaakitanga.
Following our powhiri we learnt about treatment modalities using a Māori world view. Rākau were used as postural support, while there was strong links from our objective outcomes with the taha wairua, hinengaro, as well as taha whānau, which are instrumental in providing better applied health care to our Māori whānau.
We learnt about local history and the story of the Kai Tahu migration, which is important as similar links could be made with our own iwi. Following this we saw where ancient pa sites were located.
On the Sunday we were fortunate to learn and play ancient Māori games. It wasn’t hard to imagine how these games could be incorporated into group sessions or paediatric care. Following this was our poroporoaki farewell, where each student stood and spoke of what they had gathered from the hui. A recurring theme through body language was the increased confidence, pride and purpose, reflecting the positivity fostered in our hui.
Campbell Hooker, Mike O’Keefe, Karaitiana Ripaki Tamatea, Tioke Pryor, Leighton Broughton, Donavan Walker