Maori healer fights for right to use chiropractic techniques

  • 18/06/2016
(The Hui)
(The Hui)

Maori have been using the healing techniques of mirimiri and romiromi for centuries. So who gets to determine the rules and regulations around the traditional practices?

Jolie Davis, a qualified nurse, has been practicing Maori healing for 15 years. She specialises in Maori massage and run her own successful clinic in Rotorua.

But Ms Davis is now the centre of a Ministry of Health investigation following a complaint which focuses on her performing a technique reserved for chiropractors.

Ms Davis told TV3's Maori current affairs show The Hui she disputes the manoeuvre is illegal for her to perform and she believes, as a Maori healer, she's qualified.

"The work I do is the romiromi and mirimiri where spinal alignment is done in the process," she says. "It can be done because we look at the body as a total unit, we don't take out pieces or isolate things as part of the total work that we do. So what I'm trying to explain to the Ministry [is] that as a kaimirimiri or kairomiromi sometimes the spinal alignment work is done as part of the treatment.”

In a written statement, the Ministry of Health told The Hui that "certain activities are restricted to particular health practitioners, because of the risk of serious or permanent harm to members of the public if those activities are carried out by other persons."

The statement also said: "The Ministry will continue to consider the issues raised during its investigation."