Health and wellbeing (hauora)

Where can I find information about hauora - health and wellbeing?

Senior Primary

(Years 5-8)

Colour photo of a child smiling and playing while being sprayed with water.

Image: [no title] by Mi Pham on Unsplash.

Entry last updated: 25/05/22


Health and wellbeing are important aspects in our life. Hauora is a Māori view of health unique to New Zealand, and covers the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs that everyone has. Māori believe that each of these 4 concepts supports the others.

Four concepts of hauora

A popular way to describe the four concepts of hauora is to liken them to the four walls of a whare (house or building). Each wall represents a different concept, and are all needed for strength and symmetry of the whare.

Here are descriptions of the four concepts from the Ministry of Education's Well-being, hauora page:

Taha tinana (physical wellbeing): The physical body, its growth, development, and ability to move, and ways of caring for it.

Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing): How we think, noticing and expressing thoughts and feelings, and how we respond.

Taha whānau (social wellbeing): Family relationships, friendships and other person to person relationships, feelings of belonging, caring, and supporting others.

Taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing): The values and beliefs that help people decide the way they live, the search for meaning and purpose in life, and personal identity and self-awareness.

Physical, mental, and social wellbeing

The four concepts of hauora are closely linked. You can find a lot of information on the first 3 concepts on these websites.


KidsHealth is a great website for health, including topics like how the body works, growing up, and dealing with emotions and feelings. It covers most aspects of hauora, except for Taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing).

  • Select the for Kids tab to find a list of topics

  • Try the Staying Healthy link for information about Taha tinana (physical wellbeing).

  • Choose Feelings to find information about Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing).

  • Go to People, Places & Things That Help for great advice about Taha whānau - social wellbeing.

  • Use the search box if you are looking for something in particular eg enter the keyword family.

  • This brings up articles such as Getting Along with Brothers and Sisters.

Tips: There are three sections on the site – one for kids, one for teens and another for parents. Each article includes the name of the person who wrote it and when it was written, which helps us know it’s reliable.

Kids’ Health

This is a similar website, with more great facts and ideas about hauora. This site is from the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in Australia. It’s not obvious straight away, but this is a government site with the South Australian government logo at the bottom of the About us page.

There are several ways of finding information on this site.

  • Go to the headings under Topics to find a list of articles about that topic.

  • For example, from Nearly Teens find Personal hygiene – taking care of your body, which fits with Taha tinana (physical wellbeing).

  • Or try the Browse box beneath the search box and choose a letter.

  • For example, try A and find a great article on Anxiety — when you are worrying about things, which fits with Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing).

  • Or use the search box if you are looking for a particular topic.

Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg anxiety. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.

Taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing)

Taha wairua is about who people are as individuals - their personal identity. Different people have different cultural, spiritual and religious beliefs, and values which develop over time, through family, friends, and different life experiences. It is also about self-awareness of who you are as a person.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent site for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa.

  • Look down the page until you come to Sections.

  • Go to New Zealand Peoples, and choose Peoples.

  • Here you will find lots of different cultures and nationalities to look at and how they came to New Zealand. Can you identify with any of them?

  • Or try the section called Social Connections.

  • Choose Religion to explore different beliefs and religions in New Zealand.

  • There are also pages covering other hauora concepts, like Family, Whanau and Households and Health.

Manatū Taonga - Ministry for Culture & Heritage

This is a good site for finding identity (what makes someone or a group what they are), in the culture of our country.

  • Go to the NZ Identity & Heritage tag to find information on New Zealand's flag, National Anthem, protected objects, and protocols (rules and customs).

Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.

BBC Religions

There is a note at the top of the page which says this no longer updated, but we can still use this page from BBC to look for reliable information about different religious beliefs around the world.

Religion can be an important part of what makes up an individual's Taha wairua – spiritual wellbeing.

  • Select a religion to find out more.

  • Read about Buddhism that focuses on personal spiritual development. Buddhists (followers of Buddhism) do not worship gods or deities.

  • Other beliefs, like Judaism, are based on the idea that there is only one God with whom Jews (followers of Judaism) have a relationship.

Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.

Middle School (Gale in Context)

This site is part of EPIC, a collection of databases especially put together for New Zealand Schools. It has easy to use information on cultures, people, science, social issues and history.

Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.


There are lots of books you can use to explore hauora and what it means to you. These are just a few examples - check your local school or public library to see what they have.

SCIS no: 1839725

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