At New Zealand Health Group, we understand that maintaining your health and wellbeing is all about balance. Physical, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental factors can all affect our wellness, for better or worse: a theme brought to life vividly by our board game, Taurite (pronunciation).
New Zealand Health Group’s first board game designed around the Māori concept of hauora (pronunciation), or wellbeing, Taurite encourages people to step into the shoes of others and come to grips with day-to-day scenarios which can challenge or support wellbeing.
The game has each player taking on the role of a particular character attempting to build a perfectly balanced hauora whare (pronunciation), or house, where all the various aspects of wellbeing are equally nurtured. Along the way, players come across strengths and challenges that will test their character’s resilience. This rollercoaster of constructing and deconstructing whare throughout the game gives players time to kōrero, reflect on the situations, challenge each other’s thinking, and build awareness of how other people view wellbeing.
These conversations around what hauora means for each of us lie at the heart of Taurite, making it a powerful tool for people and organisations that want to explore a broader understanding of what it means to support someone as a whole person.
Watch the video above to see the Taurite board game in action and scroll down to discover more about this groundbreaking game.
When it comes to understanding and engaging with overall wellbeing, Sir Mason Durie’s Māori health model ‘Te Whare Tapa Whā’ (pronunciation) perfectly illustrates the need for balance and seeing someone as a whole person. This model shows us the importance of not looking at our health (or the things that impact our wellbeing) in isolation, but instead looking into our overall wellbeing and how everything is connected.
This approach, based on hauora, has directly inspired Taurite. For some, this model of health comes naturally and is a way of life, but for others sometimes a hands-on approach and being able to physically build the whare of wellness makes all the difference in understanding and applying these holistic concepts of wellbeing. Taurite is designed to help organisations look at wellbeing holistically by engaging with this model, working to break down biases through active listening to how others perceive wellbeing. Ultimately, Taurite aims to facilitate a better understanding of how to strengthen and uphold holistic wellbeing.
In keeping with a holistic view of wellbeing which looks different for everyone, the team behind Taurite have designed the game so that the characters and situations can be customised for individual businesses or organisations. There are branded options available (allowing your organisation to really make Taurite its own), but we can even work with you to create new character personas and situations which are relevant for your particular needs.
Check out our options for co-branding and customisation, then click ‘Order Taurite’ to let our team know which version works best for you.
The aim of the game is to be the first player to reach the end of the koru with a complete whare (all 4 Taha & 2 Te Taiao).
Ko wai au? cards are placed in bag – each player chooses a Ko wai au? card at random. Everyone then reads their Ko wai au? card out loud: this is the character you will play.
Each player then collects the 5 whero (pronunciation), or red, cards and 5 kakariki (pronunciation), or green, cards that match their character and keeps them face down – don’t look! These cards are numbered tahi-rima (pronunciation), or one to five. Make sure they are in numerical order with card number 1 on top of each pile. This will be the order you turn the cards over in: whero 1, then whero 2, and so on.
Each player collects 4 square whare wall pieces and 2 triangle whare roof pieces. The square pieces represent a taha. The triangle pieces represent Te Taiao and make the roof of your whare.
This game can be played with 2-4 players. However, you can play with more if you wanted to team up for each character (4 characters per game) this encourages a deeper kōrero around breaking down and building the walls of your wellbeing whare.
In the original game set there are 2 versions of the game included:
Taurite emphasises the importance of balance when upholding the various aspects of health and wellbeing.
Each Taurite board game has been crafted with respect to Te Taiao.
Right from the beginning, we knew we had to use high quality, sustainable, and local materials to make each Taurite set. Te Taiao (pronunciation), or Environmental Wellbeing, is a key aspect of wellness, and a huge part of this game. A few of the choices we made with Te Taiao in mind:
And in keeping with a game designed to support wellness, all money from the sale of Taurite will be reinvested in Māori Workforce Development, along with more Taurite board games.
To order copies for your organisation, simply click the button below or email [email protected] – orders may take up to
4 weeks to arrive.
You can also order Taurite online directly through our partner MySkill (Taurite Original only) using your credit or debit card.
See the chart above for a breakdown of what’s included in each version of the game.
Taurite sparks meaningful conversations and greater understanding about what ‘whole person’ wellbeing means for each of us.
One of the organisations which has been incredibly supportive of Taurite right from the beginning has been Umbrella Wellbeing. Umbrella and New Zealand Health Group’s Cultural Services Team share a passion for overall wellbeing, and work closely together on mahi and projects which reflect this – including trialing the first full version of Taurite.
Umbrella Wellbeing is a workplace wellbeing and psychological services provider that partners with organisations all over Aotearoa New Zealand. Their team of psychologists and researchers help to improve the mental health and wellbeing of employees using assessment, strategy, blended learning, and traditional training – weaving together Māori models of wellbeing with Western models of mental health. If your organisation needs workplace wellbeing support, contact the amazing kamahi whānau at Umbrella.
The Cultural Services Team is led by Ranei Wineera-Parai and was established to strengthen New Zealand Health Group’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and achieving health equity.
Within our organisation, we acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand, and as a New Zealand health organisation we are committed to understanding and contributing to our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi. New Zealand Health Group showcases this commitment through living Pae Ora mō Tātau Katoa (Achieving Wellbeing for Everyone), our Māori Health Equity Framework.
Pae Ora mō Tātau Katoa underpins the work that we do, from our processes and systems to our workforce, to ensure equity for everyone. At the heart of this framework is Sir Mason Durie’s ‘Te Whare Tapa Whā’ Māori health model. This model incorporates four key elements of hauora: Te Taha Hinengaro (pronunciation) or Emotional and Mental Wellbeing, Te Taha Tinana (pronunciation) or Physical Wellbeing), Te Taha Whānau (pronunciation) or Social Wellbeing, and Te Taha Wairua (pronunciation) or Spiritual Wellbeing. We have also included a fifth element – Te Taiao (pronunciation) or Environmental Wellbeing. We wanted to find an easy, interactive way to help people visualise and understand this model, and the importance of holistic wellbeing when caring for ourselves, our whānau and others we support.
The initial concept for this game was a late-night thought, sparked after a memory of playing a snakes and ladders type board game when working in primary care. The board game was an interactive and easy way to relate/understand the context of the mahi we were covering at the time. When we launched Pae Ora mō Tātau Katoa there was the thought of, ‘We wonder if a board game would tautoko the implementation/understanding of holistic wellbeing and physically being able to build a whare of wellbeing – Te Whare Tapa Whā.’ We wanted to showcase the importance of holistic health, and highlight that everyone has their own worldview/perspective on how particular situations impact them (reflected in the building of the whare in relation to the character and the lived experience represented by their cards/the board). This is why we have included Sir Mason Durie’s health model ‘Te Whare Tapa Whā’ as a core part of this game.
It’s been a real journey bringing Taurite into the world. From the late night inspiration that started it all to the lovingly crafted finished product, this board game has been a labour of love for the New Zealand Health Group Cultural Services and Marketing teams, alongside local producers Band.
The Cultural Services Team are a passionate team ensuring the wider organisation is upholding Pae Ora mō Tātau Katoa and everyone is onboard our waka as we continue our journey to achieve health equity across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Arianna Rangi from New Zealand Health Group’s Cultural Services Team demonstrates how to play Taurite.