ABOUT TE WAKA RAKAU
traditional Māori healing / rongoā mauri botanicals / te taiao
Te Waka Rākau is a registered charitable organisation operating as a not-for-profit social enterprise. It was formed in 2016 to bring wāhine and their whanau together to share their stories through the traditional practice of Rongoā Māori. Their stories and healing are shared through the rongoā they create.
Joanne Hakaraia opened The Rongoā Clinic & Dispensary with a mission to bridge traditional plant remedies to modern day needs and imbalances. We believe in sustainable growth, from the inception of the plants we use, to our business practice. Our project educates and supports fair trade practices to create remedies that benefit people from all walks of life.
The Rongoā Clinic & Dispensary is composed of locally sourced native flora herbal formulas. We aim to continuously source pristine, unadulturated and wholesome medicines for mind, body and soul wellness. We are devoted to making vibrant and medicinally potent remedies that honours the principles of harmony and ancient formulation.
The products that we make and the knowledge that we share about rongoā is passed down through whakapapa. When you hold a product of ours in your hand, we want you to know where it came from, what's in it and how it came about.
The Rongoā Clinic & Dispensary developed from the delivery of our rongoā workshops. Most of our products are hand produced by our local rongoā roopu or are made by kairongoā. We do everything from local harvesting to manufacture. Our range of recipes are created to support the work that we do with our local community. We have balms & oils that are for specific ailments as well as a range of elixirs.
We have a dispensary of about 50 rongoā. It consists of dried rongoā which can be made up as a tea or wairākau specifically for each client.
Our rongoā roopu work alongside Greater Wellington Regional Council by keeping the pathways clear of overhanging branches and foliage at Chrystalls Bend Walkway. We maintain sustainable practises to ensure tīkanga is upheld and use the harvest for our Rongoā Dispensary.
The Rongoā Space
In 2021, the rongoā roopu planted 600 rākau along the Ōtaki river and next year we will plant another 500. It's a rongoā space provided to us by Greater Wellington Regional Council and will be used for educational purposes as well as for harvesting.
The roopu are avid students of rongoā from around Kapiti Coast. The rongoā space provides a sense of identity and connection to community as well as health and wellbeing. There is a yearning to learn about the rich tradition of rongoā as it is an integral part of our identity.
Rongoā Trails are currently being delivered at Chrystalls Bend Walkway and we will eventually fully utilise the rongoā space to provide outdoor workshops. The plants will also be labelled so visitors can learn about their medicinal uses on their walks.
In 2020 we became a registered charitable organisation operating as a not-for-profit social enterprise.
Over the past 4 years, our initiatives have evolved and our rongoā community has grown. We now deliver a 9 month rongoā wānanga that focuses primarily on the mauri of plants. The workshops that we hold in our local community include plant identification, stream restoration, seed collecting, nursery management, rongoā māori services and more. All profits that are not used to develop the business are donated to NZ registered charitable trusts.