Ngāti Whātua Signs MOU with Wellpark College in Albany

Ngāti Whātua as Mana Whenua has established a direct relationship with Wellpark College and Prema Trust through Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua as the iwi authority.

Wellpark College of Natural Therapies delivers tertiary courses in natural therapies over a wide range of modalities.

The Prema Trust (the owner of Wellpark College of Natural Therapies) is a registered charitable trust which has aims and objectives in the areas of natural health, care for the environment, fostering spiritual wellbeing and education.

Wellpark College has established a range of facilities and activities on a 19 hectare property at Kawai Purapura in Oteha Valley Road.

Ngāti Whātua Education policy spokesman, Tame Te Rangi, says the key focus of this arrangement involves the overall tikanga, assistance and promotion of traditional healing and medicines.

He says the role is to ensure Te Tiriti o Waitangi is upheld, that Ngāti Whātua matauranga and cultural taonga are protected. Research in Maori medicines and the associated practices will also be conducted under the guidance of Ngāti Whātua.

The relationship with Wellpark College was formalised in Memorandum of Understanding ceremony on 27 November 2010. It sets out the areas where partnership will be achieved. A marketing strategy of promoting the relationship to other groups will also be developed together.

Key areas of the partnership for Ngāti Whātua will include:

  • A permanent place on the College's Academic Board for a Ngāti Whātua representative;
  • Cooperation in setting up education in Traditional Maori Medicine (where Ngāti Whātua will be the dominant partner in terms of the curriculum, content and modes of delivery, and Wellpark will provide a framework for such delivery);
  • Cooperation and assistance (where required) in the well-being programme WhiWhi Ora, set up by Ngāti Whātua;
  • The development of a nursery for rakau (plants) used in Rongoa;
  • Kawai Purapura hosting hui for Traditional Maori healers and other activities involving Ngāti Whātua;
  • Cooperation in other activities of Ngāti Whātua, ie. Hakinakina events, Tribal Festival of Matauranga and Whanaungatanga;
  • Establishing a Maori student support service within the College with the assistance and blessing of Ngāti Whātua;
  • Commission of Ngāti Whātua arts, crafts and designs to acknowledge the relationship to the lands and waters of the location of Kawai Purapura;
  • A placement on the College's Research Board; and,
  • A placement on the Prema Trust.