MEET OUR PRACTITIONERS
(Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāpuhi)
Privileged to have trained under Papa Joe for 10 years until his passing, Ruatau has been a Rongoaa practitioner and run wananga/workshops under Te Maurea both in Aotearoa and around the world since the year 2000. First introduced to mirimiri as a child by his grandmother and later training under Papa Joe, Ruatau continues to practice and share the art of our sacred healing traditions.
"It was an honour to have studied under Papas tutelage while he was alive and with my partner Hannah (Ngāpuhi) we continue to be guided by him through wairua/spirit. Weaving the threads between Papatūānuku and Ranginui, guided by the Whare Wananga Lore, Nga Atua/gods and our own Tūpuna/ancestors we are humbled to weave the ancient Māori philosophies into this modern ever changing world."
After settling in Te Waipounamu, Ruatau and Hannah were led to start Te Arateatea Trust in 2019 and open a Whare Hauora in Ōtautahi.
(Waikato-Tainui, English, Welsh, Scandinavian)
Hailing from the Tainui waka and tohunga bloodlines, Esha was born and raised in Ōtautahi. As a māmā, educator, kaiawhina and now kairomi, Esha has always been a kaitiaki and brings this energy into every aspect of her mahi.
"As the eldest of six children born to two kāpō (blind) parents, I've played a nurturing role within my whānau for most of my life. Everything with this kaupapa comes naturally because in many ways I've been preparing for it since birth. I was called to this mahi to bring forth what's been stored in my DNA by my tūpuna and activiate it. Not only for the present but for my future tūpuna and those of the whaiora I work with".
As resident DJ of community clinic, you've also got Esh to thank for the 90s throwbacks and waiata reo Māori playlists setting the vibe every Wednesday night!
(Ngāi Te Rangi, Te Awara, Scottish, Irish, Italian)
Both of Nicole’s parents have always been connected to wairua, though in very different ways. Growing up with a matakite mother and a staunch Rātana father, Nicole was always acutely aware of the realms that existed beyond the physical. Her first experience of receiving romiromi/mirimiri was no different and she knew then and there, this mahi was much more than just ‘massage’.
A self-employed hair and make-up artist for over 30 years, Nicole has always connected deeply with her clients and these days, her natural gift of mirimiri is extended to our community clinic.
Nicole’s love of the kaupapa can be felt through every interaction and she sums up her role (and that of all kairomiromi) perfectly: “Reminding people of the true power they hold within and holding space for them as they remember”.
(Samoan, Pākehā-Irish, English)
Born and raised in Ōtautahi, hailing from Malie and Mulifanua in Samoa on her father's side, with Chinese and German connections, and from Ireland and England on her Pākehā mother's side. Danielle first met Pāpā Hōhepa (Joe) Delamere in Ōtautahi in 2003, a few months after the natural breech birth of her second child. Pāpā Joe and his crew worked on both māmā and pēpi during the visit and for Danielle this was a pivotal life experience that added to the natural home-birth and lotus-birth experiences with her other children, initiating a love of mirimiri and romiromi. Danielle began learning Rongoā Māori in 2010 through some of Pāpā Joe's previous students, and has continued learning from Ruatau Perez since 2019.
"After experiencing the power of Rongoā Māori for myself and our family, I felt like I had come home to things that made sense in my body, to ways of being that I somehow already knew and that deepened my connections to my own tupunga. My Samoan Nana was a fofō (Traditional Samoan healer) and it was always part of myself I wanted to explore. Connecting through waananga to healing practices shared by those who voyaged the Moana over countless generations, has allowed me to do so."
"What excites me the most about this mahi is seeing māmā connect to the mātauranga within, activated through these traditional practices that belong to them, that help orient to pregnancy and birth as natural processess and support māmā to stand in their own mana during their hapūtanga and beyond, a ripple that flows through whakapapa in all directions, to support the highest potential for māmā & pēpi."
Danielle works part-time as 'Māmā Moana', providing Rongoā Māori hapūtanga services for wahine hapū, mentored by Ruatau Perez of Te Ara Teatea Trust. Danielle has 3 grown children, with their own whakapapa connections to England, Te Arawa and Ngā Puhi. Over the last 20 years Danielle has worked in education, with a Masters in Education, and in the process of completing doctoral study on 'Pacific Peoples lived experience of tradional healing practices in Aotearoa NZ, with a focus on Rongoā Māori'. Danielle is also one of the Directors on the board of Le Va, a Pacific community rep on the Canterbury Suicide Prevention Governance group, and an advocate for diverse voices of lived experience around any table.
(Rangitāne o Wairau, Te Āti Awa, NgātiKuia, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Te Ātihaunui-a Pāpārangi, English,Irish, Scandinavian and German)
I te taha o tōku Mama he uri ahau nō ngā iwi tokomaha ki Te Tau Ihu o te Waka, he uri nō Te Whanganui a Tara, nō Taranaki, nō Whanganui hoki. Kei Rangitāne o Wairau, Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō me Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi ōku whakapapa. Nō Kōtirana me Ingarani hoki ētehi tūpuna o tēnei taha. Ko Love, ko Macdonald, ko Scott, ko Jones ngā ingoa.
On my Dad's side my family ties go back to England, Ireland, Scandinavia and Germany and further back into Israel. Our family connections are to Giller, Clarke, Gray, Isaacs, Alsweiler and more.
Ko Rachael Alamein Giller tōku ingoa.
Born and raised in Murihiku, where her tauiwi ancestors had been since the mid 1800s Rachael rediscovered the world of rongoā Māori while searching for answers she couldn’t find in books or online. Carrying the name of her Nana Rachael (Reipora), who was matakite, Rachael and her whānau have always been in touch with Te Ao Wairua and she brings this to her work as a practioner. After attending her first Waananga in 2020, she started attending community clinics to further her training and says being part of it feels natural. It took the safety and guidance of the Waananga and the community of Te Ara Teatea to help her realise the elements, energies and tūpuna she'd been interacting with since a little girl weren't something that needed to be suppressed.
“I'd like to see mirimiri and romiromi normalised in the way that 'self care' like going to the gym or eating healthy kai is. I see the highest of potentials in all people but I am aware through my own experiences that emotional, spiritual, mental and physical blockages get in the way of people being able to see their own potential or being able to trust themselves and their tūpuna. If I can awhi them through acting as that channel they may need to be rid of such blockages, then I will."
(Ngapuhi - Te Rarawa, Pasifica and European)
"Nga mihi nui ki te Hapori o nga hau e wha. It is with great respect to sit and work along side nga Kairomi, and Kaimahi within the Te Ara Teatea Hapori. It is a privilege to share skills and matauranga with Whaiora who land on my table, allowing the reciprocal relationship (ako) to teach and to learn. Working within the whare hauora space allows me to continue my own growth, which supports the many potai I wear as a wahine, wife, mother and grandmother and in te Ao ECE / Kaiako, and Kairomi. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to give and receive with guidance from our tupuna and wairua which allows the mirimiri/ romiromi to work for you and your whanau."