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 – Whakaoriori Masterton


Our second wānanga of the year brought PADA to the Wairarapa community. Thanks to funding from COGS Wairarapa, Trust House Foundation, and The Tindall Foundation, we were able to provide free, accessible training for the 37 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 Māori health providers.

The day began 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:-

  • Julie Foley – Lactation Consultant about why breastfeeding grief and trauma matter;
  • Bronwyn Sweeney – Tend Psychology about what’s happening to my sleep;
  • Liora Noy – PADA Educator about breastfeeding challenges with new directions for hope, ACT and secure attachment as tools for wellbeing;
  • Abby Hollingsworth – The Ruth Project about creating connections;
  • Julia Mullen – Whaiora about the family start role;
  • Edith Rolls – Ahuru Mowai Facilitator about Māori traditional birthing and parenting practices.

Presenter Edith Rolls with a wahakura presenting on Māori traditional birthing and parenting practices

What was achieved by holding our wānanga?


It was wonderful to observe the whanaungatanga – 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 a privilege to bring 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. Our host Kadia, the owner of Lansdowne House, provided a beautiful venue with a breakout room for people to go for self-reflection and self-care.

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 Wairarapa region.

There was a diverse sector of Wairarapa organisations represented from Tangata Whenua, Te Whatu Ora/Health NZ, and voluntary organisations all coming together to share their knowledge and build a better future for new families and whānau throughout the Wairarapa.

The beautiful setting for our wānanga in Lansdowne House, Masterton

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

“Lots to think about from a consumer perspective”
“Updating information”
“The sleep presentation was very good and helpful and the discussion about OCD was good”
“Hearing about all the resources available in our area”
“I loved hearing about the supports and organisations available in the Wairarapa for women and as a new grad, it was very useful hearing about how to refer to the organisations”
“Resources, networking and listening to Liora”
“The variety of presentations were really good and interesting.”
“Making connections in the community and support for women available locally.”
“Range of relevant topics and speakers and engagement within the community.
“It was great to have local providers to explain what their organisations do
“I found it informative and good to connect with others working in this area
“Topics covered were all very relevant for my job”

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.