Te Whare Tapa Whā

The Te Whare Tapa Whā model looks at the four dimensions of wellbeing.

Taha tinana – physical health

Having optimal physical health provides a good base from which we can respond to our normal everyday activities. When our physical health isn’t very good it can lead to increased worry, to losing our ‘zing’ for life or reducing the amount of ‘good’ emotions we are capable of. It affects our resilience and makes it harder to bounce back from the knocks of life. Staying fit and well allows our mental health to flourish.

You might like to try some of these:

  • go for a bike ride with family or friends
  • check out free exercise programmes at your local rec centre
  • walk around the block each night (briskly!) when you get home from work
  • take the time to cook yourself healthy meals that will nourish your body.

Taha wairua – spiritual health

Our wairua is one of the most important yet most overlooked cornerstones of health. Who we are, our sense of belonging and our ability to have faith in a higher power all contribute to a strong wairua. A strong wairua means knowing our own identity and being content with who we are and spending time reflecting, or doing things that make us happy.

Here are some ways you can increase or strengthen your wairua:

  • spend time within the realms of nature – going for a bushwalk, swimming in a river, walking on the beach
  • attend church or places you know nurture your soul
  • reconnect with family
  • give yourself permission to reflect and grow
  • learn what it is that keeps you peaceful and content.

Taha whānau – family health

Our families and our communities provide a sense of belonging, and support and are the backbone to strong resilient individuals. Belonging to family and community allows us to learn, to grow and to experience the ups and downs of life without becoming unwell.

Many people are well supported and use their family to provide care and sustain them when things don’t go so well in life. Others use a strong community of friends to do this instead. No matter who is your ‘family’ or whanāu, staying connected is a good way of protecting yourself from stress and distress - even during the ‘down’ times.

Here are some ideas you might like to try:

  • help out at the local community centre or marae
  • join a local interest group
  • paint
  • cook
  • swim with friends
  • organise a family reunion
  • have dinner with your neighbours
  • join online forums
  • offer to help someone you know who might be struggling and need support.

Taha hinengaro – mental health

Thoughts, feelings and emotions are integral components of the body and soul. Our mental health and emotional health are often what others notice first when things aren’t going so well. But it's important to do all we can to keep these working well, prior to stressful events occurring in our life. Being strong mentally equips us with the resilience we need to face life’s journeys. There are many ways in which we can protect our mental and emotional health as we go about each day.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • download a mindfulness app
  • find a counsellor you can trust and spend time working through issues you are struggling with
  • do something for someone else who needs support
  • volunteer your time to an organisation
  • remember to take holidays from work and get away from your everyday life
  • stay fit and healthy.

Want to know more?


You’ll find more information about the Te Whare Tapa Whā model on these websites: