Hauora – a New Zealand Perspective on Wellbeing

My twitter feed lately has been full of tweets and blogs from the UK with the hashtag #teacher5aday. A movement started by Martyn Reah it is all about bringing teacher wellbeing to the forefront of people’s minds. His initial blogpost (along with Teach Meet presentations) that started the movement spoke about how teachers always worry about students wellbeing and then challenged teachers to look after themselves more under the headings of:

  • connect
  • exercise
  • notice
  • learn
  • volunteer

This reminded me of last year when my colleague Bryce challenged Hobsonville Point Secondary School staff on our wellbeing in an Ignite talk during Staff PD.



In New Zealand we tend to use the Maori perspective on wellbeing – Hauora.

Most schools base this on the work of Mason Durie:

Image via Te Ara

Image via Te Ara

Most NZ schools will look at Hauora in their Health curriculum. At HPSS we have this as a focus in our Learning Hubs. We will regularly undertake activities based upon Hauora and even do regular check ups with our Hub students where they fill in a form letting us know how they are getting on:



Apart from Bryce’s challenge to us, staff wise there isn’t much I have heard of in New Zealand of schools looking out for staff wellbeing. A few years back I remember my school getting a masseuse in for 1 day as a staff health initiative but that’s about it. At HPSS last year I was privileged to have Principal Maurie Abraham as my Critical Friend who regularly checked up on both how I was personally and professionally.

How is my Hauora now?

Tapa Whanau (Family and Social Wellbeing) This is absolutely my Wellbeing strength right now. This summer was the longest time period my family have had together with everyone on holiday ever. We spent a lot of time swimming, in the pool or at the beach. And I got to really bond with my now 8 month old son. 100%

Tapa Wairua (Spiritual Wellbeing) For me this is closely linked with above. If my family are well, then my wairua is strong. We also visited Waipu Cove, which holds a special place for me (you can see it in the header image of this blog), in the last week of our holiday. Spending time here with my family, switching off from the outside world, playing in the waves was the perfect way to get me ready for a busy 2015.

Tapa Hinengaro (Mental Wellbeing) I am always reading, learning new things pushing my thinking further. The difference right now is that I am also far more organised with what is coming up. My strategic approach to 2015 is working wonders so far and #28daysofwriting is also putting this in the spotlight – Blogging for me is a way to sort my thoughts so right now, feeling great!

Tapa Tinana (Physical Wellbeing) This is definitely the aspect of my Wellbeing that needs improvement. Very little exercise since mid way through last year and a summer of indulgence. Perhaps a developing goal to do something here?

Hope this insight into Hauora helps out your #teacher5aday or just you personally with your wellbeing.



2 thoughts on “Hauora – a New Zealand Perspective on Wellbeing

  1. Pingback: Something for the Week | Teaching on the Wind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s