Wairoro is a te reo Māori term for the brain, and it is a concept grounded in Māori origins (Hīroa, n.d.). This paper is based on the lead author’s master’s research, in which he created Te Āheinga Pū Reretahi—a model developed to provide a structural and functional foundation of understanding the wairoro. Māori life expectancy is increasing (Ministry of Health, 2019), and Māori are now also experiencing the complications of wairoro illnesses that are associated with an ageing population (Dudley et al., 2014, 2019).
This article draws on the lead author’s 2016 master’s thesis focusing on how Hauteruruku ki Puketeraki, a hapū waka club based in Karitāne, 40 kilometres northeast of Dunedin, is connecting people to the ocean using waka. As a result of the club’s activities, hauora is flourishing within this community. Māori connections to the ocean are complex and diverse, and in this article the authors highlight that waka are a way in which to establish and maintain these connections.
The fitness gym is an avenue where people pursue their health and well-being aspirations. In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori have similar rates of physical activity to non-Māori; however, it is unclear how many Māori access the fitness gym. At the time of undertaking the research reported in this article, the lead author was a health advisor at a fitness gym within a Māori health provider whilst completing his Master of Physical Education. He was interested in examining whether a Kaupapa Māori gym was possible.