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Dan Walker Interview Sneak Peak: Environment

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During the interview we were fortunate that Dan brought a special taonga, his own pounamu, of which he shares a very special and beautiful story about how it came to be his. 

This pounamu has not only been grounding for Dan himself, but has also been around the world providing hope and bringing people together in karakia towards helping heal in their own health journeys. Dan touches on how Māori have lost a lot over the years, but something that they have not lost is their connection to pounamu, and the power that these taonga hold within, not only the environment, but also Māori and the wider Māori culture community.  

Another aspect that is touched on in this snippet is the Māori Health model formed by Sir Mason Durie known as Te Whare Tapa Whā, and is something that Dan is passionate about! 

Dan explains the concept of Te Whare Tapa Whā, it has four key pillars taha tinana/body, taha whānau/family and connections, taha hinengaro/mind, taha wairua/spirit, and some add in a fifth pillar taha whenua/land. This model can be related to a house, its four walls and base foundation, if one is weakened then it will affect the structure of the entire whare, therefore, causing it to not be fully structurally sound. Which directly correlates with our wellness, and if one area isn’t maintained positively this directly affects your wellness as a whole. 

This is why it is so important to look after ourselves holistically, and Dan touches on how he tries to use this practice not only for himself but also for his whānau. More recently this has come of importance for the Walker whānau with providing an environment for Joshie to be as holistically looked after as he and the whānau can be.


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Heather Connolly is a wife, and mother of two and is the Director of Engagement and Executive Education at the University of Waikato!

We talk about what wellness looks like for her including, juggling children’s schedules with her own calendar! We talk about the value of family, listening to your body, being a part of a theatre community, why being joyous is in the small moments and how to make the best use of your time!

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Heather Connolly interview with The Good Day Matrix