Rob McGowan M.Soc.Sc (Waikato) & Donna Kerridge BHlthSc (Comp Med)
Following the hugely successful introduction of rongoā Māori to the Garden Marlborough programme last year – with sold-out tours and workshops – we’re delighted that Rob McGowan and Donna Kerridge have agreed to return to share their knowledge of traditional Maori medicine. This year sees two full-day tours, both including a workshop element, and both set in the rich native forest environment of the Onamalutu Reserve, described when it was acquired for the public by the Lands and Survey Department in 1905 as “the finest clump of forest in the district.” Experience our region’s rich natural and cultural history, while enjoying some of its most spectacular scenery.
Rob McGowan, a foremost authority on rongoā Māori (traditional Maori medicine) who works with Nga Whenua Rahui to help protect and restore indigenous ecosystems, and Donna Kerridge, a rongoā Māori practitioner and teacher, will run the two events to introduce the role of plants in traditional Maori healing.
Rob McGowan (M.Soc.Sc Waikato) is respected nationally for his work for the restoration of rongoā Māori practice in New Zealand, and for the protection of indigenous ecosystems on Māori land. He has been involved for more than 20 years in teaching, researching and assisting Māori re-engage in traditional uses of NZ native plants, particularly for medicine.
In his current work Rob is part of DOC’s project to build a bridge between Western Science and Matauranga Māori (traditional Māori knowledge) in conservation management.
Rob is one of the founders of Tane’s Tree Trust, a non-profit charitable trust that was established more than ten years ago to encourage New Zealand landowners to successfully plant and sustainably manage indigenous trees for multiple uses.
Rob is author of “Rongoā Māori – a practical guide to traditional Māori Medicine” (2009).
“These Māori medicine (rongoā Māori) workshops provide people with an opportunity to experience an even greater connection to our natural environment – one that imparts a sense of peace and balance both physically and spiritually.
They will appeal to those who care for the indigenous plants of Marlborough, those interested in learning how our native plants can heal, and traditional rongoā Māori practices.”
Donna Kerridge completed a Bachelor in Health Science (Complementary Medicine), being awarded the NZ Association of Medical Herbalist Graduate of the Year in her final year of study. However the call of her tūpuna (ancestors) to return to more traditional ways was strong, and in 2004 Donna established her own natural health clinic combining the practices and philosophies of her ancestors.
Donna’s work today honours her obligation to her teachers to share and keep alive ancient healing principles in an appropriate, safe and respectful way for the benefit of present and future generations.
She serves on the Board of the South Pacific College of Natural Medicine and is also the program supervisor for their newly NZQA approved Graduate Diploma in Māori Medicine. She is a lecturer at Wellpark College of Natural Therapies and regularly presents to local councils and community groups on the subject of rongoā Māori. She was also an invited member of the 2014 Standards New Zealand Committee for the development of the national rongoā Māori standards.
Donna’s work today honours her obligation to her teachers to share and keep alive ancient healing principles in an appropriate, safe and respectful way for the benefit of all people but especially for our future generations that inhabit this land and their evolving needs.