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Unu Ora is a series of brief meditations on health and wellbeing created by our associate Tuihana Ohia. Tuihana ran our Kia Whiti Tonu wellbeing workshops, Kua haehae ngā hihi o Matariki, The Whare of HauOra, and The Ora of Self.

Unu Ora was created by Tuihana to encourage us to create some moments of stillness in our lives, to sustain and inspire us. Each Unu Ora offers a whakatauki to encourage reflection, and some questions and ideas to help you think about your wellbeing.

Unu Ora means to draw out the life, the wellbeing in someone. This fits neatly into the context of Kia Whitu Tonu which means to shine brightly. The whakatauki Tuihana has anchored Unu Ora in, is E ora ai te tangata me ora te hauora; health is essential to the wellbeing of people.

A glossary of te reo Māori kupu and phrases you will find in Unu Ora is provided below.


Pūmanawa - a beautiful word. Pūmanawa are our superpowers, ourTupuna, our ancestor given and naturally talented gifts which each of us have.

Karawhiua - a call to action, to move forward, to forge ahead with your goals, aspirations, to call out and utilise your talents and gifts.

Rongoā - a remedy, a treatment, a solution. This can differ and be different things for different people, such as a mirimiri, massage, meditation, taking vitamins, being near the moana, the ocean, walking in the ngāhere, the bush.

Whakataukī - a significant saying, an inspirational statement, quote, and proverb, and are emotive. Often said by a person we admire and consider wise.

Tongikura - a kupu specific to Waikato, to Tainui and is much like a whakataukī, evoking emotion and thought. Kiingi Tawhiao was considered a great prophet and visionary, a leader for his people.

Ōku Whāinga - our aspirations our goals and objectives. The key is to ensure they meaningful, have intention and purpose.

Hauora - Hau = breath, ora = wellbeing

Health, be well, fit, healthy in good spirits, vitality

Ko Au - Me

Tupuna - Ancestors

Taonga - gifts, treasures

Whānau - family

Aroha - love, caring affectionate, loving, compassion, kindly