Working with us as a rongoā Māori practitioner

Find out how to register with ACC as a rongoā Māori practitioner, how we pay for rongoā Māori services, and how our clients can access these services.

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    He ringa nā Rongo, he ringa nā te aroha.
    The hands of peace are the hands of love.

    This whakataukī is a taonga (treasure) gifted to us with great consideration by Turei Ormsby (ACC). It suggests that only good can come from the rongoā Māori pathway we’re taking.

    We’re introducing a new range of kaupapa Māori services to ensure services that are by Māori, with Māori, and for Māori are available for injured New Zealanders, to help them rehabilitate from a covered injury.

    This includes giving better access to rongoā Māori (traditional Māori healing). We do this as part of our commitment to improve options, care, experience and outcomes for Māori.

    How we define rongoā Māori

    We recognise rongoā Māori as a kaupapa Māori service. It’s culturally grounded care that weaves tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori, te reo Māori, and te ao Māori through all aspects of the service.  We respect that these aspects embrace ngā kaupapa tuku iho (values gifted by tupuna Māori). So we expect rongoā practitioners to whakapapa (affirm their connection) to ngā kaupapa tuku iho.

    We're guided by the Waitangi Tribunal’s definition from the Ko Aotearoa Tēnei report to define rongoā Māori. This definition covers various traditional Māori healing methodologies, including:

    • mirimiri (bodywork)
    • whitiwhiti kōrero (support and advice)
    • karakia (prayer).

    We acknowledge that these are only some methods of rongoā. We define rongoā Māori in the wider context of traditional Māori healing methodologies, which include but are not limited to the above techniques.

    We don’t consider healing techniques from non-Māori cultural traditions, such as reiki or hyperbaric oxygen treatment, part of rongoā Māori. Even if they’re provided by Māori practitioners.

    How our clients can use rongoā Māori

    Clients with a covered injury can ask us to pay for rongoā Māori as part of their rehabilitation. They can request this through their ACC Recovery team member or contact us:

    Phone 0800 222 435, ext 12

    We’ll talk to them about how their injury is affecting them and how they expect rongoā will help. Patients don’t need a referral from a treatment provider, although clinicians may choose to support their request.

    We don't refer our clients to a specific practitioner for rongoā Māori services. If a client requests access to rongoā Māori, they need to tell us which practitioner they would like to see. We must approve their request before they can start with rongoā Māori rehabilitation. If a client sees a rongoā practitioner without prior approval, they'll need to fund those sessions themselves.

    How we pay for rongoā Māori

    We’ve looked at our approach to kaupapa Māori and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) to see how we can improve our services, and safeguard traditional Māori customs and practices.

    Rongoā Māori falls under the social rehabilitation category

    We pay for rongoā Māori under the social rehabilitation category. The Accident Compensation Act allows us to pay for a wide range of social rehabilitation services. These are separate from treatment. This is why you'll hear us refer to rongoā as rehabilitation and not treatment.

    Social rehabilitation services aim to rehabilitate and improve the functional capability of our injured clients, to help them return to independence. Independence can include:

    • carrying out daily tasks
    • participating in education
    • contributing to whānau and community.

    Only professions defined as treatment providers in the Accident Compensation Act can provide treatment. Where appropriate, we can consider rongoā Māori services as social rehabilitation. Rongoā Māori may be used in conjunction with treatment or other rehabilitation, depending on each client’s needs.

    We're changing our processes and developing guidance to help our people use the correct framework and make the right decisions about requests for rongoā Māori.

    We've also launched a new service code (MTH10) which is specific to rongoā Māori. This code will help us understand how rongoā is helping out clients and if we need to make any changes to the way we deliver the service.

    Paying rongoā Māori practitioners

    We currently pay for rongoā Māori using one-off agreements. You must register with us as a vendor so that you can invoice us for approved services.

    We’ll support the cost of rongoā Māori services up to a maximum amount. We expect you to charge your normal rates for rongoā Māori services. In some cases, we may pay part of the cost of rongoā Māori rehabilitation rather than paying the full amount.

    The number of hours we’ll approve is on a case-by-case basis, according to the client’s social rehabilitation needs. This depends on the complexity of their injury.

    If a client initially requests a small number of sessions, they can request more if they need more rehabilitation. We may consider approving up to 16 hours of rongoā Māori.

    How to work with us

    There are currently no qualification requirements or contracts for rongoā Māori practitioners. We’re working on our governance processes and how we can contract with practitioners in the future.

    All health and disability service providers in Aotearoa, including rongoā Māori practitioners, must follow the Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights code.

    Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights

    Register to work with us

    You must register with us as a vendor to provide rongoā Māori services to our clients.

    Before we can register you as a vendor, we need to receive and approve a request from an ACC client. They'll identify you as the practitioner they'd like to work with. You may choose to assist the client in contacting their Recovery team member.

    Once our Recovery team approves a client’s request, they'll contact you and ask you to register with us as a rongoā Māori vendor.

    We can't register new vendors without prior approval from the ACC Recovery team member managing the client’s claim. Please don't submit a vendor registration form until you've heard from our Recovery team.

    When you register, let us know:

    • who your client is and their claim number
    • if you're a member of Te Kāhui Rongoā – a national body of rongoā practitioners
    • if you use the Ministry of Health's voluntary standards for rongoā Māori – the Tikanga ā-Rongoā
    • if you're endorsed by your tohunga (Māori knowledge expert) of rongoā Māori
    • if you're endorsed or supported by your whānau, hapū, iwi, or an urban Māori authority.

    Ways to register:

    Once your ACC111 form has been received, we'll ask you for additional information to help us understand the origin of your mātauranga, and the services you provide.

    Your application will be reviewed to validate your ability to deliver rongoā Māori, noting that we may audit registered vendors at any time.

    You can contact us with questions about your registration:


    Before you work with a client

    We make decisions about funding requests for rongoā Māori on a case-by-case basis.

    Please confirm before you start work with a client, that:

    • they have a covered injury
    • their need for rongoā relates to that injury (and not another condition
    • you have been approved by our Recovery team to provide the service.

    You can confirm this by contacting us and making sure you have received a purchase order approval notice. This notice will confirm the number of sessions we’ve approved.


    If a client wants to access rongoā Māori services before we accept their claim, they’ll have to pay for it themselves.

    Providing the service

    Currently, we can fund up to 16 hours. We expect that most clients will use fewer than six hours. Clients needing more sessions are likely to be those who have a long-term relationship with us.

    In most cases, it’s best to start with a small number of sessions. Then talk with us and the client about their progress, and how rongoā Māori is helping them achieve their intended rehabilitation outcomes.

    Once you have registered and provided a service, you can send your invoice to us:


    Information you must report as part of patient care

    We need you to report information about the outcomes achieved from rongoā Māori. This will help us to build a clearer understanding of the value these services provide to our clients. If you don’t share the outcomes, our data will only show the cost of rongoā Māori, rather than the benefits.

    If you’re a rongoā Māori practitioner working with ACC clients, please report regularly on:

    • clients’ progress towards their rehabilitation goals
    • any extra benefits or complexities you observe
    • the modalities or techniques you’ve used (eg mirimiri)
    • the number of sessions you’ve provided.

    We’ll keep on working to improve Māori services

    We’re developing new operational guidance to help our Recovery team members, formerly case managers, make accurate and consistent decisions about requests for rongoā Māori.

    We’ve also established a Māori Health Services team that are working to increase access and services for Māori clients. A key part of this mahi will involve working with rongoā Māori practitioners to learn from outcomes achieved from rongoā Māori and how to improve our approach to these services.

    Contact us

    If you have questions about rongoā Māori, complete the form below.

    Request more information about rongoā Māori

    Last published: 19 March 2021