Tihei-wa Mauri Ora

Teina Piripi and Vivienne Body

Teina and Vivienne are Māori counsellors who were working in iwi social services in the Far North for Te Rūnanga O Te Rarawa when they developed Tihei-wa Mauri Ora.

Kaupapa of the framework

The kaupapa of this framework is in the ‘knowing’ that the Māori worldview holds the knowledge for Māori to make sense of their own existence and life to begin their own healing journey.

Uniqueness of the framework

What is unique about this framework is that it is based on whakaaro Māori from a Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi perspective. The concepts of the framework have been significantly informed by the writings of Rev. Māori Marsden. Tihei-wa Mauri Ora is an assessment tool; a narrative tool based on the Māori worldview of creation. It has been developed with and endorsed by kaumātua and kuia prior to its implementation.

“Take it to the world!” (Pa Henare Tate)

Tihei-wa Mauri ora is an indigenous resource based in Maori cultural understandings of the creative order of life and being. All life goes through these stages of being, divine potential, darkness, and light. These stages are eternal and cyclic.

There are different realms of life development beginning with Te Korekore, ki Te Pō, ki Te Whei-Ao, ki Te Ao Marama, Tihei-wa Mauri Ora!

  • Te Korekore (pitch black) the vast mass of potential being, imbued with divine essences (conception). 
  • Te Pō realms (various shades of black) darkness and night stages of growth and development (child grows within the mother’s womb).
  • Te Whei-Ao (reds/orange) the realm of coming into being, critical changes and transition,  glimmer of light (mother goes into labour in process of birthing).
  • Ki Te Ao Marama (white/light blue) the realm of light and being, this world, mortality  (child is born into the world of light). 
  • Tihei-wa Mauri Ora! (Blue/green) the living breath of life.

We can liken these stages ‘of being’ to represent different things like how we feel, our relationships, health and wellbeing, any aspect of our lives can be metaphorically represented within  Maori cultural understandings of growth, development, life and being. 

Publications: Piripi, T. & Body, V. (2013).  Tihei-wa Mauri Ora: Te Tipuranga. In Pacific Identities and Wellbeing: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. (Ed). Agee, M. McIntosh, T. Culbertson, P. ‘Ofa Makasiale, C.  Otago University Press.

Piripi, T. & Body, V. (2010).  Tihei-wa Mauri Ora! The New Zealand Journal of Counselling. Vol,  30

Learn more about the model here.

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