You can contact LEARNZ, part of CORE Education, at:
PO Box 13 678,
Hauora is a Māori philosophy of health. It broadly means health and wellbeing, which is about feeling good and functioning well. The greater your wellbeing, the better you can live, study, work, and play - and cope with the tough times.
The idea of hauora is holistic. That means the health and wellbeing of the whole person, and all parts that make up the health and wellbeing of a person are connected. Our hauora is vital for ourselves, our whānau and community.
There are five parts to hauora. Planning, preparing, and taking part in outdoor activities can benefit you in all these areas:
Physical wellbeing is about body health. Exercise, a nutritious diet, plenty of sleep, and good hygiene are some of the ways we can maintain a healthy body. A hīkoi in the outdoors is one of many types of exercise that can improve physical wellbeing. Others could be participating in sport and games, dancing, kapa haka, gardening, walking the dog, or even house cleaning!
When preparing for a hīkoi in the outdoors, there is lots to plan for relating to physical health. For example, you need to make sure you have enough food to keep your energy levels up, water for hydration, appropriate clothing to keep you warm and dry, and making sure you have the fitness level suited to the track you are going on.
Just like physical health, your taha hinengaro/mental and emotional wellbeing needs to be taken care of. Taha hinengaro is your mind, heart, thoughts, and feelings.
Being outdoors and connecting with nature can be very helpful for mental and emotional wellbeing. It helps you to unwind and have a break from the stresses and worries of life. You could improve your confidence or self-esteem through, for example, the achievement of completing a particular walking track. It can even be simple things like watching birds or being in the forest with its unique sounds and smells that help to calm your mind and emotions.
Taha whānau - social wellbeing is about belonging, sharing, and relationships. It involves others who you care about and who care about you. They could be whānau, friends, classmates, teammates, or other people in the community you associate with. People who are socially connected are healthier and are better able to take charge of their lives and find solutions to the problems they are facing.
Connecting with friends, community groups, clubs, and other organisations through a shared experience in the outdoors helps you to strengthen relationships with people you know and even make new friends. Lasting friendships can be made with people who you share outdoor recreation with.
What groups or clubs might get you into the outdoors with other people?
This hauora concept involves your values and beliefs, the search for meaning and purpose in life, and personal identity and self-awareness. For some people, spiritual well-being is linked to a particular religion; for others, it is not.
Many places and landscape features we encounter when in the outdoors in Aotearoa New Zealand are spiritually important to Māori. They include such features as rivers, lakes, hills, islands, wetlands, caves, and mountains. Spending time in these environments helps us to learn more about their spiritual significance. We can learn about Māori tīpuna who created, named, or occupied many of these places and features, as well as others who have had an influence in the area. Knowing the stories, tikanga, tangata whenua, and other relationships within these places can enhance everyone’s taha wairua.
Getting involved in outdoor activities enables us to connect with nature. Learning in the outdoors helps us understand the connections between all living things, including people, and their physical environment. This can give us a stronger understanding of who we are and where we live.
In a Māori world view, everything is connected. The Māori word "whenua", which means both "land" and "placenta", provides an example of this link between people and land. Māori belong to the land as tangata whenua, the people of the land. All things are united through mauri, the life force.
Taha tinana - Physical well-being
Taha hinengaro - Mental and emotional well-being
Taha whānau - Social well-being
Taha wairua - Spiritual well-being