Te Ora Auaha - Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi

Wellbeing Activation:
Te Ora Auaha

Te Ora Auaha is an open national network of individuals, organisations and collectives that are interested in the relationship between creativity and wellbeing. Its members work across diverse disciplines and contexts including the arts, health, education, community, social care, local government, research and policy environments. The rōpu are united by a vision of a healthier, more flourishing Aotearoa New Zealand through arts, culture and creativity, and seeing these valued as vital contributors to health and wellbeing for everyone.

Te Ora Auaha’s creative wellbeing series showcases practitioners working in arts and wellbeing, sharing resources and insights, and growing a community of practice for people working or interested in this field.  Watch them below.

The House That Home Ground Built

Home Ground is a creativity and wellbeing initiative for women in the justice system. Home Ground delivers projects in the community and Arohata Prison where women can collaborate with artists, practice wellbeing tools and experience a range of art forms. 

Home Ground encourages participants to value the strength in their life experience, tap into their creative purpose and re-connect with community.

The team talk about Home Ground’s particular brand of magic, creative collaboration and best practice, and working to create art projects that address the issues women and whānau face in the justice system.

Joy-Being: Being together and making political art

Jo Randerson (Artistic Director of Barbarian Productions) welcomes you to their community creative space, Vogelmorn Bowling Club – a former bowling club now run by and for the community.

Jo will physically guide you through the building to show how their community space is made, who’s there, including Damascus Restaurant and other residents of the bowls club.

You will also meet artists participating in the development week of Ruckus – an initiative Barbarian Productions run three times a year when they open the doors to become a hub for creative arts practice with social and political focus.

Members of the community, Barbarian team members, and other artists will join Jo in discussing how to create social and physical spaces for well-being, what arts and well-being means in practice to them and how they work at the intersection of social justice and well-being.

Creative Arts Therapy- Getting better at feeling

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

This webinar gives a brief introduction to the field of Creative Arts Therapy which is an emerging profession in Aotearoa. The faculty of the postgraduate programmes in Creative Arts Therapy at Whitecliffe discuss their approach.

They explain that the creative arts used therapeutically can not only make us feel better, but they can also assist us to get better at feeling. The webinar is presented in separate modules, starting with an introduction followed by some short experiential sections that offer activities that you can try for yourself. These are intended to support your wellbeing and to be safe to do alone in your own space.

Dr Deborah Green crafted the acronym BRATS as an easy to remember, and supportive reminder of gentle self-soothing, evidence- and body-based activities for therapists and clients navigating uncertainty during the pandemic. BRATS can also be a helpful tool for anyone looking for self-regulation during troublesome anxiety, stress, low mood, or trauma responses.

The letters decode into the broad categories of: B – breath; R – rhythm; A – activity; T – temperature; S – senses, and can be approached in a variety of ways, some of which are demonstrated in this video from a Creative Arts Therapy perspective.

If you would like to engage in some therapeutic work that goes deeper into supporting your personal growth, there are some resources provided. These can guide you in seeking out a registered Creative Arts Therapist who can companion you in this process.



Creative play, every day

Hosted by Dr. Jeremy Mayall, join us for a panel discussion about creative play.

We explore different pathways to make more of it in your everyday life, as well as talking about how play and general creative curiosity be a useful process for everyone, even outside of the realms of artistic endeavour.

Learn about the benefits for wellbeing, balance, focus, and more and come away with ideas of how you can bring play into your everyday life.

This panel discussion features
Dr. Laura Haughey (University of Waikato / Equal Voices Arts
Kim Morton (Ōtautahi Creative Spaces)
Stephanie Christie (Visual poet)
Chris Lam Sam (Author & Entertainer)
and is hosted by Dr. Jeremy Mayall (Creative Waikato / Composer)

The Stories That Connect Us

Part of our ongoing creative wellbeing webinar series, this webinar features Dr. Lucy D’aeth (public health specialist) and Renee Liang (writer and doctor), speaking about the importance of storytelling and our responsibilities when sharing stories.

They discuss how to have conversations with vaccine hesitant friends and whānau, and how we’re responding to the changing freedoms that have resulted from the pandemic.

They look at what rejuvenation looks like, and how arts, culture and creativity can help us during emotionally trying circumstances.

An audio-only version of the conversation can be found here.

We’d love your feedback on this kōrero – please let us know how you found it here.

Part One:

Part One: How does storytelling affect our communication and what are our responsibilities when sharing stories?

Part Two:

Part Two: How can we talk to vaccine hesitant friends and whānau?

Part Three:

Part Three: What does rejuvenation look like and how can arts, culture and creativity help us?

He Manawa Kakano, Born of Greatness

Our Kaiārahi Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho speaks with Tuihana Ohia (Founder, Woo Wellbeing) and Jolene Proffit (Service Development Manager – Mental Health & Addictions, Strategy & Funding – Waikato DHB) for a tangata whenua focused conversation on wellbeing by design.

With a wahine Māori focus, it’s a wide ranging discussion that covers Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā and how to stay in a place of mauri ora. Our guests also discuss how the arts can help us flourish in the current pandemic environment and how to bring an aroha and growth mindset into our day to day lives.

Creativity in a time of crisis

‘Creativity in a time of crisis’, is a webinar that follows our Culture, Health and Wellbeing 2021 series. Our Kaiārahi Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho speaks with Eynon Delamere on the meaning and strength of taonga pūoro, Ryan Reynolds from Gap Filler on the power of creativity in restoring public trust through connecting people to place and Huia O’Sullivan from Ngā Rangatahi Toa around the methodologies within Te Ao Māori and the guidance of tikanga in their work. The conversations reflect the reality of our speakers’ experiences in Aotearoa over the last six weeks working amid pandemic restrictions.

Culture, Health and Wellbeing Conference - 2021

Te Ora Auaha recently convened three sessions as part of the global 2021 International Culture, Health and Wellbeing conference. The conference was led by the UK Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance, it was fully digital making it possible for presenters from 30 different countries across the globe to connect and share practice, insights and research over three days.

Session One:

Session one features a welcome from the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, followed by Riki Bennett and Eynon Delamere talking to the healing power of taonga pūoro and the idea of ngā toi being intrinsically part of the Māori lived experience.

Session Two:

Session two features Kim Morton from Ōtautahi Creative Spaces, Ciaran Fox from The Mental Health Foundation, Ryan Reynolds from Gap Filler, Hannah Wilson from Rekindle and Aaron Hapuku from University of Canterbury speaking to the work they are doing in Ōtautahi (Christchurch), using creativity as a pathway to adapt, connect and build back post-disaster.

Session Three:

Session three provides insights into Aotearoa’s rich body of youth arts practice which draws from western, indigenous Māori and Pacific Island world views and creative practices. Huia O’Sullivan shares the incredible work with young people at Ngā Rangatahi Toa in Auckland, Molly Mullen from the University of Auckland, and Amber Walls from Auckland Council share research from two different projects which focus on the practice environment, issues of funding and resourcing, and young people’s perspectives on how the arts uniquely promote their mental wellbeing.

We encourage you to watch, share and comment on these sessions. Click here to fill in the feedback form.

Te Ora Auaha
Webinar Illustrations

We commissioned talented local illustrator Pounamu Wharekawa to create artistic interpretations of the Te Ora Auaha Webinars, based on each episode’s key theme.

You can find Pounamu on Instagram at @pounamu.pounamu.