Raglan Noho Marae visit inspiring health students and rural rangatahi: a cultural immersion experience

Last week, the Raglan community and Poihākena Marae welcomed fifteen tertiary health students from around Aotearoa New Zealand, for a Noho Marae as part of Hauora Taiwhenua’s Rural Health Careers Programme. 

Noho Marae is a significant aspect of the programme, as a unique opportunity that bridges the gap between tertiary students aspiring for rural health careers and the kaupapa of Māori health. 

Graciously offered by Ngāti Tahinga in Raglan, hapū of Tainui, this three-day experience highlights the unique and fulfilling opportunities of working in health, as demonstrated within the Raglan community. 

During their stay, the students will immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of traditional Māori health and wellness principles. Through workshops, cultural interactions, and visits to local practices and hospitals, they will delve into Rongoā Māori, gaining insights beyond the textbooks. 

Bianca Bisogno, a Social Work student who attended the wānanga, spoke of the learnings offered by the mana whenua. 

“Te Ao Māori is a space where a lot of people can come in and out of, and bring their own beliefs in and connect to things that exist in this space, with us being a very diverse group. I think the way that the mana whenua invited us to engage in Te Ao Māori by bringing ourselves, what we carry and what’s important to us, is a really beautiful thing because it’s very inclusive.” 

“A lot of people here aren’t Māori, but at the same time a lot of us will work with Māori people in the health sector, so the way mana whenua brought everyone in makes people feel comfortable, and my hope is that we all would feel that comfort and be able to take that with us from this experience.” 

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