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Te Whare Tapa Wha

Te Whare Tapa Wha

This weekend I am walking the Queenstown ½ marathon.  It will be my third year in a row to walk the ½ and I really enjoy it.  The previous two years I have walked it with my beautiful kare/friend Debbie Houkamau.  It’s been a wonderful time to catch up with her, uninterrupted for 4 plus hours.  Debs can’t make it this year so I am walking it with my hubby Pete.  The last couple of weekends we’ve headed out and completed 10 km walks.  I’ve loved this time together.  We are both pretty busy and sometimes it does feel as though we are ships passing in the night.  This quality time together with no devices (Pete has been seen in the evenings surrounded by his laptop, iPad and cell phone whilst watching TV) has been incredibly precious to me and I asked Pete last weekend if we could keep doing this. 

I am the type of person who needs goals to keep motivated.  I wish I was the person who ate well and exercised well all the time but I am not that disciplined. So, signing up for events like the Queenstown ½ Marathon really work for me.  I have always loved walking.  I know it is good for my wairua/spiritual self as well as my tinana/physical body and as I write this walking gives me clarity mentally so let’s tick the hinengaro/mental and emotional well being box as well. 

I love the Te Whare Tapa Wha health model developed by Sir Mason Durie. It is a hauora/well-being model focused on the four walls of a whare.  It has four components:

  • Taha Wairua/spiritual well-being
  • Taha Hinengaro/mental and emotional well-being
  • Tahu Tinana/physical well-being
  • Taha Whanau/family and social well-being

Te Whare Tapa Wha is about balance. When your whare is in balance and you’re are nurturing all components of the model then you’re ticking along pretty well.  It is also a wonderful tool to use if you are feeling out of sorts – fold a piece of paper into 4, add each of these titles into a square and write what you are doing to make sure each of these elements are being met.  Often when we are out of sorts, something is out of balance and you’ll have an obvious gap in the model or something is heavy and taking up too much of you time and energy. There is plenty of information online if you want to learn more about this and other Maori health models.

Back to why walking is so much more than physical exercise for me.  It gives me time to connect with Papatuanuku/Mother earth, I see and think of Hine-pukohu-rangi the sky mist maiden slowly crawling over our hills in the early morning.  I see the variety of manu/birds that live around us and I marvel at their songs and their ability to fly. I look up and see Ranginui/Sky Father and wonder what Tāwhirmātea the weather god will bring forth to us. I breathe deeply, I sigh and I relax and because of all of this I know I am a better, happier person. So, I walk and I know I will sign up on Sunday morning to do the 2021 ½ marathon.

Remember to do what fills you up and keeps you balanced.  You deserve it.


Aroha nui Kim xxx



Posted: Thursday 19 November 2020