Matauranga Maori and Therapeutic Landscapes


The indigenous Maori of New Zealand contend that the relationship they have with the land, shapes the ways in which the cultural, spiritual, emotional, physical and social wellbeing of people & communities are expressed. While research has explored the concepts of Maori health, few studies have explored the influence of the cultural beliefs & values on health and in particular, the intricate link between land & health. Traditional Maori knowledge regards landscape as part of a circle of life, establishing a holistic perspective with respect to the relationship to health & wellbeing. With increasing urbanisation, modern technologies and the ageing of the elders in an oral culture, traditional practices are becoming lost. This paper focusses on the matauranga Maori process of investigating a specific landscape relying on the past, present and future to better understand the importance and value of the therapeutic qualities implemented through the four pillars of Maori health & wellbeing. Meanings of place and the relationship between place and health have culturally specific dimensions, yet these are often overlooked. This study broadens the understanding of therapeutic landscapes through the exploration of specific dimensions in the context of everyday life. It contributes to the expanding body of research focusing on the role of therapeutic landscapes and their role in shaping health. Therapeutic landscapes demonstrate the importance of place to maintaining physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Author Information
William Hatton, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Bruno Marques, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Jacqueline McIntosh, School of Architecture, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Paper Information
Conference: CITY2017
Stream: Geography and Landscape/Urban Planning, Architecture and Design

This paper is part of the CITY2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon