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Project Update

Update - November 2023 


Introducing He Hikoi Manaaki Tuakana – Teina Peer Workforce in Te Tai Poutini, West Coast. 

Purapura Whetū and Poutini Waiora alongside the Kā Pou Whenua project team are proud to introduce the first established kaupapa Māori Tuakana Teina peer service in Te Tai Poutini, West Coast, a significant milestone in the region's mental health and addiction services. 

In 2022, Purapura Whetū and Poutini Waiora, conducted a comprehensive Māori workstream review of Mental Health and Addiction services in Waitaha and Te Tai Poutini. The insights gained from this review, shared by whānau (families), kaiawhina, and clinicians, clearly highlighted the need for a recognized kaupapa Māori peer workforce within the two regions. This workforce was envisioned to offer invaluable support across various mental health settings and geographical locations. 

Responding to this community-driven need, He Hikoi Manaaki kaupapa Māori Tuakana – Teina peer service was established in early 2023. This groundbreaking initiative is committed to delivering peer specialized support within a tikanga Māori paradigm, one that fully recognizes the inherent mana (dignity and authority) of individuals and the whānau with whom they engage. 

To ensure the highest standards of service, He Hikoi Manaaki and other dedicated Tuakana – Teina kaimahi (workers) immersed themselves in the Light Keepers tikanga Māori peer competency 101 training during July and August 2023. Dr Annie Southern and Shannon O'Connor (Ngāi Tahu), renowned experts in the field, facilitated this training, equipping the peer workforce with essential skills and historical and cultural insights. 

Dr Annie Southern, reflecting on the importance of this initiative, shared “the group co-created a space where there was power-sharing, aroha, safety, and discovery-based learning – all of which they will bring to the work they do with tangata whaiora. It was truly a privilege to undertake facilitating this professional development process with this ropu. You could feel it creating a passion to transform the mental health landscape and to do things differently.” 

Shannon O’Connor explained that “We co-created a mana-enhancing space and facilitated bringing the participants’ own unique values and stories to light together. We supported people to move from the realms of Te Pō towards the realm of Te Ao Mārama as tuakana-teina peer support specialists. They left knowing where the peer movement whakapapa’s back to and they left inspired to be part of shaping where it is heading.” 

The introduction of He Hikoi Manaaki Tuakana – Teina Peer workforce represents a pivotal moment in the evolution of the mental health and addiction services in Te Tai Poutini. We eagerly anticipate witnessing the positive impact and remarkable achievements of He Hikoi Manaaki as they extend their support to the whānau living in our vibrant and picturesque region. 


About Purapura Whetū and Poutini Waiora: 

Purapura Whetū, Otautahi and Poutini Waiora, Te Tai Poutini are two dedicated kaupapa Māori organizations committed to advancing mental health and addiction services, with a strong focus on serving the unique needs of all whānau living in across the two regions. 


About Kā Pou Whenua Project:  

Kā Pou Whenua was initiated as a project by the Mental Health and Addictions Collaborative Steering Komiti in 2021. This collaborative endeavor brought together key partners, including Ngāi Tahu Iwi, Te Whatū Ora, Purapura Whetū, and the Mental Health and Resource Centre. The Kā Pou Whenua project team took the helm in conducting the Māori workstream review of mental health and addiction services encompassing the Waitaha and Te Tai Poutini regions. As a direct outcome of this review, the Kā Pou Whenua project team is now spearheading significant initiatives within both regions, including He Hikoi Manaaki tuakana-teina peer services. ​



Update - January 2023

In June 2022, Purapura Whetu Trust began engagement with Māori after establishing a Pou Whenua Kaitiaki Rōpū to guide and support the mahi across Waitaha (Canterbury) and Te Tai Poutini (West Coast) regions.

Engagement with tāngata whaiora and whānau was critical to understanding the system and services being accessed. Equal to this understanding, is the work experience of kaimahi who work within the system. Engagement with the community was undertaken using a variety of methods which included one-on-one and group interviews, online surveys, and registering to attend two marae based noho wananga. Consultation with the two regions was completed in September 2022.

Currently, experiences shared during the engagement phase of the project is now sitting with the Māori health research team from the University of Canterbury. Once completed, a report will be written highlighting priority areas for improvement that can be undertaken now and moving in the future. The report will be submitted to Te Whātu Ora – Waitaha and Te Aka Whaiora – Maori Health Authority to be included in their service delivery roll out for the two regions.

E huri tō aroaro ki te rā, tukuna tō ataarangi ki muri i a koe.

Turn and face the sun and let your shadow fall behind you.

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, Engari, he toa takitini.

My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective.

Waiho i te toipoto, Kaua i te toiroa.

Let us keep close together, not wide apart.

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