Mana Moana began as the postdoctoral research project of Dr Karlo Mila.in these early interviews are acknowledged for their contributions.
This led to a strong focus on collecting generative words, proverbs and narratives from our collective ancestral knowledge from the “Polynesian” part of the Pacific. To the ancestors, your stories, language and words of wisdom, we thank you.
In particular, those knowledge holders who preserved and presented that precious body of knowing: Tui Atua Tupua Ta’isi Tamasese Efi, Jon Jonassen, ‘Okusi Mahina, Sidney Moko Mead, Mary Pukui, Edward Tregear and others. We pay tribute to you. Without your work, Mana Moana would not be possible.
To those who came around in a circle at Taupara, Taupo. You are acknowledged for your guidance and advice. The various people who sat on advisory groups or had roles as supervisors are acknowledged: Maui Hudson, Allister Bush, Denise Kingi-‘Ulu’ave, William Pua, Evangelene Daniela, Airini, Terry Fleming, Sally Merry, ‘Alo Foliaki, and others. Malo ‘aupito
As Mana Moana continued to develop, it became informed by a healing logic, a philosophy of wellbeing and a collection of archetypes. To those people who sat and listened and fed back about the validity and integrity of Mana Moana, thank you. There were over a hundred of you and your time, knowledge and ideas are acknowledged.
To Evangelene Daniela, who partnered and led the clinical development of Mana Moana, who was “Moana Ops” – the person who transformed the ideas into clinical practice and who co-developed of the group work programme “The Journey to Motutapu” and developed a one-on-one practice. Thank you. You are acknowledged. Without you, Mana Moana would have remained simply a body of reclaimed knowledge and some good ideas about how it might be applied.
To Johnson Witehira, creator of the Mana Moana visuals and images, and Tracey Tawhiao, knowledge holder, advisor and inspirer, your contributions are acknowledged. The transformation of words and concepts into a visual language was so critical. Thank you.
To the second circle who gathered in Piha to contribute their time, feedback and knowledge, thank you. Your contributions are acknowledged.
To those who were trained in Mana Moana, and to Ailaoa Aiona, Oz, and William Pua who facilitated the first feasibility trial, and to Wesley College, Reverend Tasi and Whaea thank you for allowing, enabling, extending and enlivening Mana Moana. Thank you for being safe hands.
Finally, to the kaitiaki, guardians: Denise King-‘Ulu’ave, William Pua, Evangelene Daniela and Karlo Mila, who carried, nurtured, believed in and held Mana Moana and Motutapu, without all of you, it would not have emerged. More than thanks are offered to those who were able to steer when Karlo could not. To the partners and families of this essential crew, who gifted us time away from home and duties, and let us jump in this vaka and navigate it to shore, we thank you with grateful hearts and acknowledgement of your sacrifices. To Wiremu Niania, for his spiritual stewardship and to the ancestors who have watched over it all from the beginning, we thank you that this knowledge has reached solid ground.
The knowledge of Mana Moana originates from and belongs collectively to the ancestors and descendents of the Moana. It cannot be owned. For this reason, a creative commons license is applied. It can be used, spread, shared and further developed but not for commercial gain.
It is obvious that this has been a collaborative effort, enabled by the service, love and dedication of many people. All of us are merely vaka (vehicles) who carry this knowledge from one shore to another. No one knows this more than Karlo Mila, who was at times a wobbly vessel. The kaupapa of this work is to make our rich ancestral knowledge available to a generation who has lost language and connections with our islands of origin. The bush may have overgrown but the paths are never lost to us.
To hold Mana Moana, one must stand it in with awareness of who you are and how you relate to it. You must respect it and understand that it is in itself a living thing, with energy, intention and an agenda. It is in service to the spirits of many, the living mauri/mauli of this project, the aspirations and desires of the living, and the legacy of those to come, that we offer this work.
This website is a small and basic introduction to Mana Moana and Motutapu as it applies to suicide prevention. It is a part of a living body of work which is far broader in its scope and resources than what is shared here. As it is enlivened into the world, we ask you that give it the respect that it deserves, understand that it is sourced to ancient ways of knowing and hold it as carefully as we have.
These are the precious embers that remain of the home fires that once burned brightly in every home, in every village, in every inhabited island of our Moana. As we pass the flame to you, may it light your way, warm your heart, ignite the memories within your DNA, and help you find your feet.