Rotorua Weekender

Self-healing journey blossoms into career

Spiritual teachings open to anyone who feels the calling

- Roimata Mihinui Kāhu ki Rotorua

Ajourney to self-healing has blossomed into a career and life-long commitment to traditiona­l Maori rongoa. Wikitoria Oman is passionate about the kaupapa that comes from ancient wananga.

She trained from 2001 for seven years in Auckland clinics run by the tohunga, Papa Hohepa Delamere.

The Ngati Whakaue-te Atiawa uri is a mokopuna of the first Anglican Maori bishop of Aotearoa, the Rt Rev Pererika Bennett.

“My great grandfathe­r was Bishop Pererika Bennett and his first wife was my great grandmothe­r Hana Te Unuhi Paaka from Te Atiawa. (She is buried at the front of St Faiths church at Ohinemutu). My grandmothe­r Rawinia was the eldest of Pererika's 19 children.”

Wikitoria's 87-year-old mother is still alive but she has lost her siblings, father and son. Her daughter, a senior psychiatri­st, lives in Perth with her husband and two sons

She was born in Gisborne and grew up mainly in Auckland.

“About two years ago, under our Labour government, trained Maori Rongoa Practition­ers were added to ACC so that opened up our mahi to so many people.”

Currently Cran Cage, an ACC registered Maori practition­er, joins her as a co-facilitato­r for workshops they hold at her pa, Te Kuirau, at Ohinemutu.

Tauira from nga hau e wha, including pakeha, are welcome to register for upcoming workshops to learn the safe practice of traditiona­l Maori healing . Wikitoria has been offering workshops since 2011 in Aotearoa and by invitation Wikitoria has presented workshops in Australia, Hawaii, Germany and Scotland.

Long term her goal is to pass on the knowledge to the next generation

“I didn't initiate the kaupapa as the Romiromi kaupapa comes from an ancient waananga. Papa Joe told us to take the mahi out to the world. So the teachings are open to anyone who feels a calling.

“I think some things are simply in your destiny and all your life experience­s once accepted open up your future path. Once you find your passion you enhance your own life and can be in service to greater humanity.”

For Wikitoria the future looks busy as more people turn to our traditiona­l wellness practices.

She would like to share a quote from her late mentor Papa Joe Delamere: ' Tihei ki te Maaurea a te Mauri ee'

'Acknowledg­e the preciousne­ss of the mauri that is our waananga (recognise the gift)'.

Part of Wikitoria's future is learning more te reo.

“When I was a teenager in the late seventies I joined Nga Tamatoa and ran the Wellington office. Hana Te Hemara was my dear friend and mentor.

“We have just had our 50+ commemorat­ions since submitting 30,000+ signatures on the petition to parliament to introduce Maaori into schools.

“My son Hemi was one of the first Kohanga reo tamariki.”

Wikitoria Oman

 ?? Pictures / Supplied ?? Wikitoria Oman.
Pictures / Supplied Wikitoria Oman.
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