E tūtaki ana ngā kapua o te rangi, kei runga, kei runga te Mangoroa e kōpae pū ana | The clouds in the sky close over, but above them spreads the milky way

Māori Perinatal Mental Health Hui 2021


Our focus for the Māori Perinatal Mental Health Hui 2021 is ‘Whakamana Te Whare Tangata’ ~ Decolonising birth and restoring traditional knowledge. We are delighted to introduce to you our Keynote Speaker and Presenters lined up for the day.

For full details of the event learn more here.


Keynote Speaker


Sarah Pallet – MP for Ilam


Sarah lives in the electorate with her partner, Andy. She moved to Christchurch in 2004, and before being elected to serve as the MP for Ilam she worked as a midwifery lecturer at Ara Institute of Technology, having previously worked as a community midwife. Her two daughters, Alex and Bea, attended Ilam Primary School and are both now at university.

She has a strong sense of social justice, and is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the same opportunities irrespective of their gender, ethnicity or background. She brings a positive attitude, an ethic of hard work, and boundless energy and enthusiasm to be a strong voice at a national level for the people of Ilam. Her commitment to creating positive change inspired her to co-found the Canterbury Women’s Branch of the Labour Party, which she chaired until recently. At a national level, in 2018 she was elected as Co-Chair of the Labour Women’s Council, which represents all woman members of the Labour Party.

Her experience as a midwife includes working both at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and as a rural midwife. She served for three years as the President of the majority union of academic staff at Ara, a hands-on role underpinned by her ability to find productive solutions to a wide range of workplace issues, as well as successfully leading employment negotiations. Working in education and health care, and constructively liaising with senior managers, she is uniquely placed to understand the opportunities and challenges of both areas.




Dr. Kelly Waiana Tikao


Kelly Tikao (Waitaha, Kāti Māmoe, Kāi Tahu) is a creative researcher with Hakeke Productions.  This role combines her diverse array of interests and enthusiasm for listening, writing and sharing stories in health and broadcasting.  Her many years in health as a registered nurse within Māori and mainstream health and social services have offered profound insight for Kelly on the fine line between vulnerability and resilience.  Delving into qualitative research in disability with the Donald Beasley Institute and evaluation with Ihi Research provided more opportunities for Kelly to extend her research capabilities.

A strong thread throughout Kelly’s life has been her passion for the arts.  She has been a radio announcer, producer and has gathered experience across the broadcasting industry. When Kelly is not conjuring up creative projects she is following through on her doctoral recommendations that contribute to the rejuvenation  of Ngāi Tahu Birthing knowledge and practices.  This has recently included holding a wānanga for Ngāi Tahu midwives and artists and recording oriori (specific waiata for māmā and pēpi to transmit iwi knowledge and  aspirations).

Kelly affiliates to all of the Marae on the Banks Peninsula and her tane Rihari Taratoa-Bannister is of Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāi Te Rangi ancestry. Their cultural bonds have provided a rich foundation from which they have raised their five tamariki and continues to kindle their dedication for cultural evolution.


Jeanine Tamati-Elliffe


Jeanine is a māmā raising six tamariki and currently works as the Kaiarataki Ākonga | Student Innovation Manager for Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury’s Te Waka Pākākano | Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Māori, Pacific and Equity. With a background in reo revitalisation, health advocacy and SUDI prevention for Māori, Jeanine also runs a consultancy business, Manawa Tītī Limited, is a consumer representative and current Vice-Chair on the Ministry of Health’s National Maternity Monitoring Group, as well as a community representative on the Maternity Ultrasound Advisory Group and South Island Child Health Alliance.


Dr Hirini Kaa & Elizabeth Harte

Pēpi Penapena



Dr Hirini Kaa (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata) is passionate about child welfare, just as his father, Dr Hone Kaa, was before him. Hirini is Chairman for Pēpi Penapena, a priest in the Anglican Church and a well-regarded historian. He recently published a book, Te Hāhi Mihinare – The Māori Anglican Church, about iwi engagement with Christianity and how Māori adapted it to make it our own. It was a finalist in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2021.

Liz is a māmā to three young tamariki and started Pēpi Penapena (Cherish Babies) with her Mum, Helen Mountain Harte, in 2018. She spent a year learning about tūpuna parenting ways from her before her Mum passed away, and how it complements the parenting ways she and her whānau were raised with. Liz’s own background was in the technology sector, having done a Masters in Robotics before moving into product strategy. While she will always be a bit of a geek, this taonga, this treasure, from her Mum is a journey and a movement for social change that Liz is dedicated to, and hopes you will join this waka as well.


Cara Meredith


Cara is a Registered Nurse and Midwife and has worked in health for 26 years both in community and tertiary settings. Cara’s current role is Clinical Lead for Whānau Whakapuawai a kaupapa Māori maternal mental health pilot programme. Cara’s Masters dissertation explored maternity journeys for Māori whānau in Waitaha, with a focus on equity. Cara is commencing PhD studies this year and will be exploring kaupapa Māori and Indigenous approaches to maternal mental health distress.

Cara grew up in Wales and is of Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe and Waitaha descent. Cara has two tamariki, Myfanwy and Osian.


Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust


Me aro koe ki te hā o Hineahuone ~ Pay heed to the dignity of women

Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust was established by the Ōtautahi branch of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, to provide services for wāhine Māori, their pēpi and whānau. Upholding mana wāhine is fundamental to all the services provided within this organisation.

Whānau Whakapuawai is a pilot programme offered out of Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi and provides kaupapa Māori approaches to maternal mental health distress. Māmā engage with the service whilst hapū or during the postnatal period.

Pathways to mental wellness offered by this programme embrace both Western clinical approaches alongside mātauranga Māori and cultural wisdom drawn from te Ao Māori. All therapies are provided within a kaupapa Māori framework.

Outcomes for wāhine who engage in this programme include:

Utu – Balance

Tino Rangatiratanga – Self-determination

Tūhono – Connection

Hapori – Community

The Whānau Whakapuawai team walk alongside māmā and their whānau as they claim their tino rangatirotanga to not only enhance their own wellbeing but the wellbeing of future generations and community katoa. During this presentation you will hear the whakaaro and perspectives of all the team members – Sian Gibbons (Clinical nurse Specialist) Leisa Aumua (Kaitohutohu Mātauranga); Keita Fuller (Kaiwhakapuawai) and Cara Meredith (Project Lead).

‘Mo tatou, a, mo ka uri a muri ake nei’

‘For us, and our children after us.’


Joanne Rama

Hine tu hine ora


Whakamana te wharetangata

Ko Taupiri taku Maunga
Ko Waikato taku awa
Ko Tainui taku waka
Ko Ngati Hinetu taku hapū
Ko Ngati Apakura me Maniapoto me Raukawa aku Iwi
Ko kahotea taku Marae
Ko Whatihua taku Rangatira

Joanne is a Mama of 7 Grown Tamariki she birthed and 4 borrowed , she is Nanny Jo to 13 Mokopuna.  Joanne has lived experience with Perinatal diseases for all of her pregnancies and a recovering midwife.

Joanne trained as an Enrolled nurse in 1984 and then as a Comprehensive registered Nurse from 1987-1990 and midwifery 1991-92.  Joanne is proud of her Nursing background and wishes she could go back to being an Enrolled Nurse some days.  She also misses Midwifery but feels she is more able to speak out about the inequities and create opportunities to decolonise birth for whānau.

Joanne currently works for Whai Maia as the Kai Arahi facilitating the Hapūtanga wananga and providing education and support for Hapū Māmā and Breastfeeding Māmā. She has been facilitating Hapūtanga wananga for 27 years across Tāmaki Makaurau and also works casually for ADHB providing mainstream classes while currently developing a social enterprise providing Empathy training.

Joanne partnered with Janet Taiatini and were the first Māori midwives to provide continuity of care for whānau in South Auckland.  Jo was a founding member of Putea o Pua Trust (Turuki Health).

Te Kaha o te Rangatahi (teen parent support) and Project Managed the first Māori Midwives hui in Waikato in 1994 which then became Nga Maia, National Māori midwives collective 1994-2007. While she supports the aspirations of Nga Maia she is no longer an active member and will be calling the first Hui for Kaupapa Maori childbirth educators and Doulas in 2021.

Joanne  is passionate about restoring Indigenous birthing practices and has been fighting to eliminate Racism from Midwifery and Nursing for over 30 years