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

PADA Wānanga – Māwhera Greymouth


Our first PADA wānanga for 2023


For our first wānanga of the year brought PADA to the community at Māwhera Greymouth. Thanks to funding from COGS West Coast, West Coast Community Trust, and The Tindall Foundation, we were able to provide free, accessible training for the 30 care providers who attended, each playing a significant role in the lives of pregnant women, new parents and their whānau.

Our wānanga covered a variety of topics relating to perinatal mental illness caused by pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting. As a Te Tiriti honouring organisation we were grateful and fortunate to be able to share our space and work alongside local Iwi.

Ngā mihi maioha ki a Eli Maiava and Davida Simpson, (Ngāi Tahu) for opening and closing our wānanga, and Ngāti Waewae Arahura for providing the space for us to bring our wānanga to Māwhera Greymouth.

The day started with introductions from each individual and their services, whanaungatanga which immediately created an environment of collaboration, shared goals, and a sense of belonging.

Who participated at our wānanga?

Our educational topics were presented by clinicians:-

Liora Noy, PADA Educator about breastfeeding challenges with new directions for hope, and ACT and secure attachment as tools for wellbeing.
Erin Turley, Breastfeeding Advocate from West Coast Primary Health about empowering breastfeeding mothers and how breastfeeding support can help or hinder mental health and the parenting relationship.
Paula Culling, Restorative Specialist from Poutini Waiora about mana-informed practices, how anger management is achievable, and how working under the Te Whare Tapa Whā model can strengthen mana and relationships.
Natalia Mendoza, Maternity Quality and Safety Co-ordinator from Te Whatu Ora about the incidence of self-disclosed mental health history of women accessing maternity services on the West Coast.
Eli Maiava and Davida Simpson from Whare Manaaki/Ngai Tahu about the programmes they run in the West Coast region to support vulnerable, marginalized and under-represented people, their whānau, tamariki and rangatahi so that they do not end up in social systems that create negative outcomes for them.

Māwhera Greymouth wānanga attendees – 1 Maehe March 2023

What was achieved by holding our wānanga?


It was wonderful to observe the whakawhanaungatanga – networking and collaboration in the room, and as the day progressed, previously separated tables of people all sat together, getting to know each other and connecting their services. It was such a joyful experience to bring these people together to share their mahi.

We are also aware that the subject matter being presented can at times be confronting and emotional, and we ensure the emotional safety of all our presenters and participants. After one such presentation, local Iwi engaged to sing a beautiful waiata to cleanse the room. Ngā mihi maihoa for the care of all attending.

With the knowledge gained at our wānanga, care providers and voluntary groups are better prepared to support new parents and their whānau so they can be the best parents they can be. Over time these care providers will care for thousands of families and whānau throughout the West Coast region. There was a diverse sector of West Coast organisations represented from Tangata Whenua, Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ, Ministry of Justice, and midwives from the Gloriavale community, all coming together to share their knowledge and build a better future for new families in the West Coast.

PADA Educator Liora Noy presenting on Breastfeeding Challenges and Perinatal OCD

We asked what people loved about our training and they said:

“I loved Liora’s presentation on how best to support woman who experience postnatal OCD. I also gained a lot of information about supporting woman to breastfeed.”

“Meeting so many other strong women in challenging healthcare roles and being able to discuss these sensitive and serious issues in a safe space.”

“Networking and meeting new people. Great food, great day.”

“Learning something about where help for women can be sourced and what is available on the West Coast.”

“The variety of speakers, including locals – so it was great to network and understand local services available for mental well-being.”

“Informative speakers and networking.”

What people think about PADA:

Great workshop to educate and improve the quality of care women and pregnant persons in New Zealand are able to get appropriate support. 1) educate 2) advocate 3) connect local organisations to health workers in their communities by providing workshops

PADA is needed desperately given the statistics for perinatal suicide rates and the fact that this is the leading cause of death for this group of women. I think they should continue to share these messages and work with more health professionals in these workshops”

What our mahi is about:

  • A reduction in the maternal suicide rate and child abuse statistics.
  • Well-resourced and better educated care providers.
  • More culturally competent support being offered.
  • Parents being more knowledgeable about perinatal mental illness and subsequent pregnancies and babies are managed better.
  • Children having strong bonds with nurturing parents.

PADA strives to be the ‘go to’ place for training and information about perinatal anxiety and depression. There is no health without mental health and increasing awareness will drive social change with a goal toward improving the quality of care for parents experiencing all types of perinatal depression and reducing the stigma of perinatal mental illness.

We continue to contribute to research into families’ and whānau experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood and factors that may lead to mental illness. Gaining valuable data about perinatal mental health helps us understand the impact of our work and inform best practice for our organisation.

“Intervening early and getting that right is the key. That is where the money should go, that’s where the focus should be. A good childhood sets people up on a really good trajectory for life. If the mothers are better looked after the babies will benefit.”
Professor Richie Poulton, Director Dunedin Longitudinal Study.

PADA General Manager Denise Graham, PADA Educator Liora Noy, PADA Events & Administration Manager Sarah Urquhart

Check out our future events: