In November, the team at PADA came together in Tāmaki Makaurau for the first Māori maternal mental health hui at Ōrākei Marae, to come together in whakawhanaungatanga with a goal to find the right path to assist all māmā and their whānau in the space of Māori maternal mental wellness.
Our wonderful Board Member Joanne Rama organised the first Māori maternal mental health hui at Ōrākei Marae, the sacred space of Takaparawhau (Bastion Point). PADA wishes to acknowledge the manaakitanga and aroha shown to all visitors from Ngāti Whātua, as we came together in whanaungatanga.
PADA would like to acknowledge and thank the following people:
Firstly, our outstanding presenters; Dr Maria Baker, Te Rau Ora, who spoke to de-colonisation, the disruption wāhine face within their wairua, and how improvement is needed when wāhine seek help from current organisations.
Dr Naomi Simmonds (whose kōrero was shared via video).Tāpuhi, Camille Harris and Waimarie Onekawa, as seen on the tv show ‘My Maori Midwife’, talked about how being tāpuhi Māori provides cultural practices to uphold the mana of the wahine and inclusivity of her whānau.
By acknowledging how perinatal anxiety and depression presents differently in women from different cultures, they are seeing better results in Māori maternal wellness.
Professor Helen Moewaka-Barnes, along with her daughter Hira, talked about how putting cultural Māori birthing into practice to bring wairua into the space and not leave it at the door.
New māmā Lizzie, with Camille and Jo Rama, talked about her birthing experience during lockdown, but how the Māori midwifery practises enabled a deeper connection for her partner and pēpē during that time.
Chloe Wright from Mothers Matter spoke to the narrative that needs to change, all focusing on creating better outcomes for all the whānau involved around pregnancy and birth in Aotearoa.
Dr Hinemoa Elder reasserted that wairua is key; calling our whakapapa to the birthing space is fundamental in the wellbeing of not just the wahine and her pēpē, but the whānau as a whole. Dr Elder described the seven ‘pou’ to achieve optimum outcomes for Māori maternal mental wellness.
She also spoke compassionately to the health professionals in the room, calling them to take time and care for themselves, to nurture themselves in order to be able to support others outside of themselves.
We would like to acknowledge Wright Family Foundation for funding the cost of our outstanding venue at Ōrākei Marae, and thanks to COGS Waitakere, Sargood Bequest and Like Minds, Like Mine for their contributions to funding this hui.
Finally our heartfelt thanks to PADA Board Member Joanne Rama whose long term vision has been to create a space for whakawhanaungatanga; focusing on Māori maternal wellness, a meeting of minds, of forging relationships and creating conversations. Joanne sourced the gifts for our presenters, t-shirts with the artwork of renowned Māori artist Robyn Kahukiwa, and her ‘Iwi not Kiwi’ artwork.
It is Jo’s dream that this is the first of many hui covering Aotearoa, and our hopes are the next one will be held in Te Waipounamu (the South Island) next year. The main goal of the hui is to find the right path to assist all māmā and their pēpē and all their whānau going forwards. PADA is very aware of the work that needs to be done in the space of Māori maternal mental wellness, and this hui, and all our subsequent conversations, is the start of us wanting to make that change.
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.
The PADA team (L-R) Board member Claire Barnett, Communications Manager Stefanie Dixon, General Manager Treena Cooper, Board Member Joanne Rama, Board Member Bice Awan, Fundraising Manager Denise Graham, Board Member Brendon Smith, Board Chair Leigh Bredenkamp, PADA Educator Liora Noy, Board Member Rona Carroll.