Books for Māori Mental Health

The following is a list of recommended books and resources about Māori Mental Health. The Location(s) available column shows where these books are available, eg, from your local Christchurch City Library (CCL) and/or from the Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC).

Books can be reserved online and checked out by visiting CCL or MHERC. If a book is not available, a librarian may be able to suggest another book or place a hold on a book. To borrow or place a hold on a book, you must be a member of the library. MHERC can post books and other resources out to its users, including those living in rural areas, and will include a post-paid bag for returning books. Once read, books need to be returned to the library.

< Go back to Reading in Mind home


Title & Author
Location(s) available

Matarakau: healing stories of Taranaki

By Jo Tito

Year: 2007

These stories are of a time and way of life which have all but passed. Yet the words have relevance for us today as we struggle with issues of health and well being. They speak of the importance of attaining a balanced existence as a way towards good health – taking responsibility for our own physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states.




Oku Moe Moea: The dream which is bigger than I am

By S Hammond Boys

Year: 2015

Subject: Wellbeing

Story traces the dilemmas of a young Māori artist as he struggles to come to terms with his relationships, talents and future. Born with an abundance of creativity and living without a mentor in an isolated area, he becomes increasingly alienated from others. He struggles with feelings of uncertainty and doubt which plague his efforts to engage in his talents as he wrestles with whether they can drive his future.




Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy

By Wirema NiaNia

Year: 2017

This book examines a collaboration between traditional Māori healing and clinical psychiatry. Comprised of transcribed interviews and detailed meditations on practice, it demonstrates how bicultural partnership frameworks can augment mental health treatment by balancing local imperatives with sound and careful psychiatric care. In the first chapter, Māori healer Wiremu NiaNia outlines the key concepts that underpin his world view and work. He then discusses the social, historical, and cultural context of his relationship with Allister Bush, an adolescent psychiatrist. The main body of the book comprises chapters that each recount the story of one young person and their family’s experience of Māori healing from three or more points of view: those of the psychiatrist, the Māori healer and the young person and other family members who participated in and experienced the healing. With a foreword by Sir Mason Durie, this book is essential reading for psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and students interested in bicultural studies.





Mauri Ora: The Dynamics of Māori Health

By Mason Durie

Year: 2001

Mauri Ora outlines the relevance of culture, identity, and socio-economic factors to health. Mason Durie draws on many years of experience to bring fresh perspectives on Māori health, especially mental health. Not only is there a comprehensive clinical review of suicide, depression, and alcohol and drug misuse, but there is also a thorough exploration of the origins of poor health and strategies for improving health. As a sequel to Whaiora, Mauri Ora contains new insights into a Māori psychology and provides useful guidelines for practitioners, especially those who are involved in counselling Māori clients or establishing mental health services for Māori. In addition, population approaches to health, such as community and hapu development, are discussed within a framework that connects health to the broader aims of Māori development. Few books are able to accurately interpret the health perspectives of indigenous peoples, the viewpoints of clinicians, or the resolve of community leaders. Mauri Ora successfully brings together these many strands, presenting health as ‘the dynamic interaction of people with each other as well as with wider cultural, social, economic, political and physical environments.’