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

Whakamana Te Whare Tangata – Decolonising Birth and Restoring Traditional Practises

PADA Online Hui Ā-Ipurangi 4 Noema November 2021


Following the success of our Māori Perinatal Mental Health Hui last year, we planned to bring our ropu of presenters to Te Wai Pounamu, at Rehua Marae in Ōtautahi in November to coincide with the NZCOM National Conference. However, Covid-19 had other plans and we pledged to bring our hui online. While we missed the opportunity to come together to connect and inspire, one benefit was that people across Aotearoa were able to attend our online Hui all day from their own homes.

The PADA office team hosting the zui behind the scenes (Comms Manager Stefanie Dixon, General Manager Treena Cooper, Fundraising Manager Denise Graham)

Our hui was opened with a Pōwhiri lead by the son of our Kaumātua Joanne Rama before Keynote Speaker, Sarah Pallett, who spoke not only from her role as Labour MP for Ilam, but also from the heart, with her past midwifery work helping support the need for Labour to embrace perinatal mental health.

Our first presenter was Jeanine Tamati-Elliffe, presentingHe reo whānau, hai reo oraka – Importance of whānau voice’.

At our ‘tea break’ we recommended people take an eye break from their screens and have a walk around before our second presenter Dr Kelly Tikao ‘Mō ngā uri ā muri ake nei (for the descendants to come) – Rejuvenating Ngāi Tahu Birthing Knowledge and Practices’

You can read more about Kelly’s mahi and Kāi Tahu website Hākui here.

Following this was a video put together from the team at Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust, and Cara Meredith, Sian Gibbons, Leisa Aumua, Keita Fuller were available after the presentation for a live Q&A.

During our half an hour lunch break, we also set up two break-out rooms for people to connect, Te Whare Tangata and Te Whare Titiri, enabling people to be able to connect and talk to others in their professional spaces.

We were excited to launch our video – Power of Contact – Reducing the stigma and discrimination – a Mātauranga Māori approach.

This video, funded by Like Minds, Like Mine, is about reducing the stigma and discrimination when working with Māori whānau. This video was created to share with our workforce of care professionals, to become providers who are less biased and know how to practice without personal judgement which can only benefit our pregnant māmā and new parents.

Our Kaumātua Joanne Rama shared information on our education workshop Hine Tu Hine Ora, which is a workshop to inform and inspire those who work with whānau Māori on providing culturally competent care.

Due to being online, we had record numbers of attendees to our AGM which directly followed the hui. You can review our Annual Report here.

We absolutely loved seeing all of you online, including those extra little guests who are a part of mama’s work and occasionally saying hello. The work we do is for the benefit of everyone and of course those who work in the care space with new parents are inevitably parents themselves.

While our dream was to bring everyone together in one space in Te Wai Pounamu, we hope that providing the learning and connection online was useful in the restrictions we had at that time.

We look forward to coming together for our third Māori Perinatal Mental Health Hui in Rotorua in May.


The PADA Kaiārahi and kaimahi attending our first online AGM.

Some of the wonderful feedback we received:


“Thank you so much for an amazing hui. This was my first and I feel like I have learnt so much today. There is such incredible mahi happening out in the community. Nga mihi x “ 

“This was such a special day, thank you for sharing your knowledge and kaupapa with us ” 

“Nga mihinui ki a koutou mo tenei raa huitopa. Miharo o koutou mahi” 

“Nga mihi nui to everyone for all the awesome inspiring presentations” 

“As a pakeha, what I gained was invaluable appreciation for what it means to have to fight for your voice to be heard and your ways to be respected. Knowledge weighs a tonne but it does help build bridges”

“How important it is to return to have a traditional Māori health system that I believe will not only start to help heal the Māori community but is also a healing and environmentally sustainable health system for everyone.”

“As pākehā kaimahi we need to focus on cultural safety in all that we do. I have been doing my post graduate in this area and want to know from whānau what it is that works well for them.”

“It increased my knowledge of traditional māori knowledge and after emailing Joanne Rama set me on a path to study more about it for myself and for others.”