Reo motu mō te huringa: National Voices for Change

Te Huarahi o te Kete Pounamu

In response to the increasing rates of restrictive practices of Māori in mental health services, and in recognition of the value that partnerships with tangata motuhake provide.  Te Rau Matatini dedicated to establish a national group to represent Māori with lived experience of mental illness and mental health services.

Following a series of national hui with Māori, Te Huarahi o te Kete Pounamu was formed to provide an independent vehicle, a structured partnership between Māori with lived experience of mental illness and mental health services, stakeholders and Te Rau Matatini to facilitate meaningful discussions[1] in the pursuit of optimum health outcomes for Māori[2]

Te Huarahi o te Kete Pounamu is a representative roopu of Māori resident from Northland to Southland.  

The purpose of Te Huarahi o te Kete Pounamu is to:                                                  

  • Provide Māori with lived experience of mental illness and mental health services a voice at a national level to improve health services and Māori health outcomes. 

Guiding Principles

  • Tikanga Based:  Sensitive to and responsive to the cultural needs of Māori tangata whaiora, and honours customary practices, beliefs of Māori.
  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi: Inclusive of the living principles of partnership, protection, participation and self-determination.
  • Tuakana – Teina:  Work collaboratively to the strengths in the membership whilst supporting others to develop and enhance their capabilities at a national level. 
  • Awhi mai – Awhi atu:  Being helpful to each other and showing manaakitanga to others.


  • To influence change, and improvements for Māori tangata whaiora through active leadership, mentorship and advocacy.
  • To Influence the learning and capability of tangata whaiora and tangata motuhake.
  • To address issues of stigma and discrimination.
  • To assist tangata whaiora and tangata motuhake to become a strong voice within mental health and addiction services.
  • To understand and strengthen local, regional, national and international indigenous networks associated with tangata whaiora (consumer) perspectives. 

For further information contact: Valerie Williams

[1] in the provision of leadership, direction, and advocacy for planning, delivery measurement and evaluation

[2] inclusive of providing advice for optimum workforce practices in mental health services and better systems

Te Huarahi o Te Kete Pounamu Profiles