Journals from NURS 298 PA Health Care in New Zealand
2009-12-29 Kia Ora!
Kia Ora is a Maori greeting for "Hello." Professor Sue Butell and I had a wonderful orientation day with 14 nursing, exercise science, and health science students. Just to show that "cutting edge" technology isn't lost on us, we skyped in two students-- one in Hawaii and one in Alaska! And, we posted all the powerpoint presentations on Blackboard.
We began our day of immersing ourselves in the Maori culture and New Zealand by observing the customs preliminary to entering the Marae, or meeting place. These customs included women from the tribe/iwi (in this case, Professor Butell and me) networking with visitors (students) and explaining the Maori welcome ceremony. Maori songs, shoe removal, and a caution about the food table and never sitting on a table because it is considered to be sacred were discussed during networking. We also briefly talked about facial tatoos, or te moko. As part of the immersion experience, we had considered painting our faces to greet the visitors, but in doing our preparation for the day, we discovered that the te moko are used by the Maori to designate their familial history. To imitate this when we are not Maori descendants of the Maori would be to insult them rather than honor them. We decided to post a Maori man with te moko instead.
When we entered the Marae, and arranged ourselves in a circular fashion, we began the mihimihi (informal ceremony) by introducing ourselves as the Maori would. A Maori introduction details their genealogy and ancestral ties- whakapapa. The last information shared is the individuals own name which is considered to be the least important piece of information. This is the format for a Maori introduction.
o My canoe (Ko te waka) is
o My mountain (Ko te maunga) is
o My river (Ko te awa) is
o My tribe (Ko te iwi) is
o My sub-tribe (Ko te hapu) is
o My chief (Ko te rangtira) is
o My marae (Ko te marae) is
o I am (Ko ahau)
Maori members use the Marae to discuss and debate. We sure did some of that as our speakers presented on Maori history, arts and culture, health care in New Zealand, and social/political/economic forces impacting the health care among other topics.
We are very excited as we ready ourselves to embark on this academic enrichment experience in New Zealand! We are grateful for the opportunity.
Barbara May, Professor of Nursing