"Many Maori believe the body has to remain whole and should be returned on death to ancestral land for burial."
"Maori make up 14.1 per cent of the New Zealand population, yet in 2007 represented 32 per cent of those needing kidney transplants. In the same year, no Maori donated organs after death, though there have been up to seven donors in other years.
In the five years to 2008, between 17 and 37 European New Zealanders were donors each year.Otago University masters student Jennifer Ngahooro, whose study focuses on Maori organ donation, has proposed measures to increase Maori donation rates.
"Mrs Ngahooro suggested a ceremony modelled on powhiri for transplants, so that before the operation, grieving families could gather in a hospital chapel to farewell body parts. A separate ceremony would be held for recipients of organs and their families.This has a good feel to it. Respecting the body, respecting the spirit of giving and recieving.
"It's a Maori model, but I think it's a model that would be really good for everyone."
Mrs Ngahooro said a two-stage process – a hospital ceremony followed by full funeral – would be acceptable to modern Maori, many of whom no longer had their bodies returned to ancestral land.Now I am not sure what the people will think of this but it is worth considering and it seems quite good to me. Incorporating te ao maori is the way to go for many of the challenges we face, we just have to keep an open mind.