Rob McGowan, or Pa Ropata as he is also known, is one of this country’s national living treasures. He has loved plants ever since he was old enough to grab one in his tiny fist. His fascination grew when he was given responsibility for looking after the fernery at the Greenmeadows seminary in Hawke’s Bay while training to be a Marist priest, and later, when he returned to his hometown of Whanganui and learned about the medicinal uses of plants from local kaumatua, Maori elders.
Since retiring from the priesthood over 25 years ago, Pa has devoted his life to ensuring that matauranga Maori (traditional Maori knowledge) is being woven into conservation management, thus ensuring not only the preservation of indigenous trees used for rongoa Maori, or traditional Maori medicine, but also the culture that surrounds it.
Tiwaiwaka is a collection of principles and a shared vision that he believes will empower us to create a long term future for us and especially for the generations that follow us.
Rob joined me in the apothecary today and shared some of that vision.
These are gentle words of wisdom from a beautiful man.
You can find out more and subscribe to Rob's newsletter at www.tiwaiwaka.nz
You can find our about the ways I can help you work with the medicine of the land at www.georginalangdale.com