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Associate Professor Anne-Marie Jackson (co-Director of Te Koronga), Mr Mark Ranby (former Personal Development Manager [PDM] of the Highlanders and current PDM for retired professional rugby players) and Sonya O’Neill (current PDM for the Highlanders) share their experiences of creating and adapting a programme for players in the context of Te Reo Māori, wellbeing and how the Te Whare Tapa Whā, with support from the habit tracker, has the potential to create positive connections for players to all aspects of their wellbeing. The habit tracker was introduced in a professional rugby setting with the Pulse Energy Highlanders rugby team through their personal development management programme. In 2020 this occurred in response to Covid-19 requiring them to adapt the existing weekly Te Reo Māori immersion sessions between Te Koronga and players in the Pulse Energy Highlanders.
Te Whare Tapa Whā is a well known Māori health and wellbeing model (Durie, 1985). The model is based upon the symbolism of a wharenui (Māori meeting house) to represent an individual’s hauora (wellbeing). Each of the four walls of the wharenui are a different component of hauora: te taha whānau (family/relationship wellbeing); te taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing); te taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing) and; te taha tinana (physical wellbeing). To have flourishing wellbeing, each of the four walls must be balanced.