Has Mason Durie's Whare Tapa Whā model delivered for Māori?

updated By D'Angelo Martin

With Mental Health Awareness Week upon us, Te Ao News looks at the effectiveness of our mental health services and the results that they have brought to Maoridom.

In particular, Te Ao looks at the Whare Tapa Whā model which has been the Health Sector’s “go-to” model for over three decades for developing service models for Māori. 

Te Ao started this week by speaking with the following individuals.


Tiana Matiu (Ngapuhi me Te Rarawa), a Health Advocate for Health Practice Hāpai Te Hauora spoke of how Whare Tapa Whā reinforces the need for balance and what they can do should that become a problem.

"I think as Māori people know what the words wairua hinengaro tinana and whānau means, but just helping the and realize that it's about alignment and making sure that their whare in balance they sort of start to understand how to they can re balance their whare".

She didn’t stop there, going on to speak about the benefits of whakapapa on ones’ wellbeing.

"Go back to your whenua even if you don't know where that just starts researching because from one idea stems many ideas and then your connection just happens without realizing that it's actually happening".

Thomas Strickland (Ngāti Kurī me Aitutaki) Māori Development Specialist for the Mental Health Foundation to adding to the Te Whare Tapa Whā model, combining past and future to create a living evolving model.


"Ānei te huarahi mō tātou, kia hoki anō mātou ki ā mātou mahi a kui mā a koro mā ngā kaupapa Māori. Pēra i ngā āhuatanga kei te kite i a tātou inaianei, ko te māramataka tēra ko ngā whetu tēra ko te rātaka tēra".

Every day for this week a different pillar or wall of the model will be analysed.

"E whā ngā pātu engari he rima ngā rā ō te wiki, nō reira kua tāpiri atu te tuapapa o te whare arā ko te whenua tērā. Nō reira i tēnei rangi ko te whenua, nā ia rā ka tāpiri atu i ēra atu te taha hinengaro te taha tinana te taha wairua me te taha whānau hei whai oranga mō te tangata".

Te Ao will continue to speak on this for the duration of Mental Health Awareness Week.