Health and wellbeing (hauora)

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

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Entry last updated: 18/01/21


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: Coherent thinking processes, acknowledging and expressing thoughts and feelings and responding constructively.

Taha whānau - social wellbeing: Family relationships, friendships, and other interpersonal relationships; feelings of belonging, compassion and caring; and social support.

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


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.

Down the left-hand side of the kids page is a list of topics that you can chose from.

  • 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.
  • Remember that all this information supports the meaning of hauora.

Use the search box if you are looking for something in particular, for example we typed in the keyword ‘family’ which brought up this article on 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. There are several ways of finding information on this site.

  1. Go to the Topics section to find a list of articles (like Personal hygiene – taking care of your body, which fits with Taha tinana – physical wellbeing).
  2. Try the Browse box beneath the search box and choose a letter (we tried F and found a great article on Feelings and emotions which fits with Taha hinengaro – mental and emotional wellbeing).
  3. Use the search box if you are looking for a particular topic.

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.

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 feelings. 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 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.

Scroll 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?

  • 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 in the culture of our country.

  • Choose NZ Identity & Heritage to find information on New Zealand's flag, National Anthem, protected objects, and rules and protocols.
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.


This is a good place to look for 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.

The page on Religions has links to lots of different beliefs.

  • We tried Buddhism and found that this religion focuses on personal spiritual development. Buddhists strive for a deep insight into the true nature of life and do not worship gods or deities.
  • Other beliefs, like Judaism, are based on the idea of relationship with one creator god.
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.


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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