Wellness of whānau who experience mental distress and/or addiction issues.

Oranga hinengaro is one of five key health areas Te Aka Whai Ora is working to improve, and has the greatest potential for intervention.   

We are striving for a future that sees the work and views of people with lived experience, whānau bereaved by suicide, as well as clinical and cultural perspectives, made integral in the development of services. 

We know that whaiora, whānau and those delivering services are experts on what whānau and hāpori in their rohe need, and we are committed to a co-design approach with our hauora partners.  

What is our Oranga Hinengaro focus? 
Suicide prevention   

Māori have suicide rates twice that of non-Māori groups but are only for 15% of the population.  

This means we disproportionately bear the burden of suicide – in terms of lives lost, risk to loved ones, and bereavement of whānau, friends and communities.  

We are working to: 

  • Review the national approach to Māori suicide prevention
  • Invest in suicide prevention to reduce the rate of suicide, suicidal behaviour the impact of suicide on communities, including through approaches consistent with mātauranga Māori. 
Kia Piki te Ora    

Kia Piki te Ora kaupapa Māori suicide prevention services aim to build resiliency within hapū, hapori and whānau Māori and reduce the impacts of suicide on communities.  

Because whaiora, whānau and hapori know what they need, Te Aka Whai Ora will not predetermine what these services look like, as across Aotearoa, the needs of communities or rohe will be different. 

In the 23/24 Financial year, Te Aka Whai Ora is investing in 23 Kia Piki te Ora hauora Māori partners, delivering across 24 sites throughout the motu. 

By improving suicide prevention services for Māori, the impact of suicide or having suicidal thoughts will be reduced, not only for Māori, but for all peoples in Aotearoa. 

Access and Choice   

Support services for whānau with mild to moderate mental health and addiction needs have long been poor and inequitable.

Te Aka Whai Ora is committed to supporting the delivery of mental health and addiction services for Māori.  

We manage the contracts and support 33 kaupapa Māori mental health and addiction services, meaning there is full-service coverage for tangata whaiora and whānau across the motu. 

Access and Choice psychosocial services offered include psychosocial first aid, rongoā, counselling, supervision, mirimiri and wairua services. 

Addressing both the emotional and social needs of individuals, services aim to empower people to use their own resources, enhance resilience, and make informed decisions. 

Building organisational, and community resilience and capacity help to prepare workplaces or communities to respond to traumatic events.  

Having access to and a choice of services for people with mild and moderate mental health and addiction needs not only benefits those experiencing the service, but also their whānau and hapori.  


Rangatahi Māori are our future leaders. We want to support them to thrive by investing in multiple programmes that will improve their mental health and wellbeing outcomes. 

Developed by rangatahi Māori, for rangatahi Māori, the (external link)Aroā wellbeing(external link) app is a digital resource that provides tools and resources to improve wellbeing in a space that feels welcoming and non-judgemental.    

Aroā extends a calm and gentle invitation to take a virtual stroll and experience some valuable time-out for your hinengaro in the ataahua Aroā digital forest. 

Aroā was developed in response to recent reports of increasing distress and declining mental health outcomes among rangatahi Māori, especially since, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lived Experience   

Better hauora outcomes for our whānau will come from an empowered workforce who understand and represent this community.  

Te Aka Whai Ora upholds the mana and integrity of the whānau and lived experience voice to effectively transform the system, so it works for our people.  

Whānau with lived and living experience of mental health and/or addiction bring an innate strength and essential knowledge, which can better support and uplift this hauora sector. 

We are looking to address a lack of investment and opportunities for the Māori workforce to provide leadership and frontline support for Māori including from those with lived experience. 

Te ao Māori mental health service solutions, including primary mental health and wellbeing services, alongside the development of local urban and rural community networks, including NZ Police, are a focus for Te Aka Whai Ora, to improve the support provided to whānau who are in mental distress, or experiencing an acute mental health and addiction episode. 


Hāpaitia is an equity project that aims to support and strengthen specialist mental health services to deliver more equitable outcomes for tāngata whaiora and whānau.   

We are visiting all 26 adult mental health inpatient and five forensic units to gain insights into how adult acute specialist mental health services are delivering care to whānau, including the physical environment and places care is delivered from.  

The insights from this project will be used to support and strengthen existing services where needed, and to build or develop capability. 

This project is led by Te Aka Whai Ora, and project governance includes national leaders from hospital and specialist services, clinical and mental health services, alongside lived experience and hauora Māori partner leaders. 

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