Rongo Mori is a holistic system of healing that has developed out of Maori cultural traditions. It has along history of usage and credibility among Maori, and increased interest in its revival and sustainability has prompted calls for its formalisation within the New Zealand public health system.

Objective and methods

The objectives of the research project were to:

Examine the contribution of rongo Maori to indigenous wellbeing, and
Identify issues for the ongoing sustainability of traditional Mori healing in New Zealand.

The research process was lead by Maori researchers in collaboration with Maori healers and stakeholders.

Two literature reviews were undertaken; one to provide understanding of international developments in traditional medicine, and a second to review national policy/literature related to rongo Maori. Four focus groups and five workshops were held with groups in five communities to explore current rongo practice and service delivery and drivers/barriers to its ongoing utilisation. The participant groups were healers and their associates, and health and local authority stakeholders.