Spiritual care

What if you do not know your spiritual care customs?


  • If you or your whānau have lost your spiritual and cultural customs, we recommend you return to your iwi (if you know who they are), and talk to your kaumātua and whānau to find out the right spiritual customs that you and your whānau can use to provide the protection and support needed before death, during death and following death. Every iwi, like every whānau, has their own way of doing things.
  • Your iwi will be able to guide you with karakia, waiata and other cultural practices to fortify and protect you, as they did your grandparents and tūpuna.
  • It might be helpful to view your iwi’s website for information such as whakapapa (genealogical connections), rohe (geographical tribal areas/boundaries), karakia (prayers, incantations, chants), songs (waiata), karanga (traditional calling), and whakatuakī (proverbs).
  • If you are Māori and you do not know the name of your iwi you can learn more about Māori cultural processes and customs by making contact with someone in your whānau who may have this knowledge. Some ideas for tracing your iwi can be found at the National Library and at (these sources may be able to help you establish connections). In addition, you can read the information provided on this site, or locate information in libraries. You may like to speak to local iwi and kaumātua where you live if you want to learn more about your culture and end of life customs.

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