Skip Content
Rongoā Māori - kaiako: David Jones

For David Jones, Rongoā - the study of traditional Māori medicine, is about giving people the knowledge and tools to take power over their health and wellbeing.

As a kaiako (teacher) at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, David hopes to inspire his students to become proactive when it comes to their health and the health of their whānau, hapū and iwi.

“For me, learning rongoā and sharing rongoā is about tino rangatiratanga. We can use Pākehā medicine and our own too. Whether one is better than the other is not important but the fact we have a choice is,” says David.

David has been teaching rongoā at the Wānanga’s (TWoA) Tokoroa campus for three years and during that time has seen a number of his tauira (students) thrive and become leaders in the rongoā space.

“I love seeing tauira use rongoā for their whānau, hapū and their iwi. Using it at home or even starting their own practice, their own clinics and running their own courses, workshops and wānanga.”

David found his passion for rongoā whilst working as a librarian at TWoA’s Raroera campus in Hamilton.

As part of his post graduate studies in library services, David came across the traditional Māori medicine practice and then took on the teaching and guidance from a number of tohunga (experts) in rongoā.

“The reasons why I started to do rongoā myself was to help raise the status of rongoā Māori and to show everybody that it is a valid and bona fide medical option.”

David believes that the practice of rongoā isn’t just about physical health and wellbeing but is also a way for both Māori and those learning about te ao Māori to connect with the culture on a deeper level.

“You’re not only learning about rongoā but you’re developing a concrete connection to our culture and our past.”

Find out more information about our rongoā Māori and hauora programmes.

 Back to news & events

Published On: 21 January 2022

Article By: Cassia Ngaruhe



Other Articles

  • 06 June 2024

    Raranga programme helps funeral director to connect with traditional cultural practices

    Descended from a long line of undertakers, it’s no surprise that it was tangi that brought Delano Murray (Ngāti Kurī) to Heretaunga, where he’s a funeral director for Simplicity Funerals and studying Toi Paematua Level 5 in raranga with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

  • 16 May 2024

    Kawerau local lives out childhood dream of learning to weave

    As a young girl, Barbara Wheto always had a fascination with harakeke and the art of weaving. But growing up in an era where being Māori and Māori culture were scorned upon, she was never encouraged to explore the art form.

  • 09 May 2024

    Wānanga scholarship supports tauira in completing Master of Architecture thesis

    The 2023 Dr. Buck Nin Memorial Scholarship recipient for Māori contemporary art was 23-year-old Antonia van Sitter, who put the funds towards completing her Master of Architecture thesis.

  • 09 May 2024

    Rodney Whanga, Te Matatini Scholarship award winner

    Mahia te mahi hei oranga whakatipu, hei oranga tuku iho mō te iwi, ahakoa ngā piere nuku o te wā. Ko Rodney Whanga o Tainui waka, nō ngā iwi o Ngāti Maniapoto me Waikato te whakatinanatanga o te kōrero nei.