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Shaping the future of mental health support for young Coasters

Tuesday 28 June 2022Health news4 minutes to read

Te Tai Poutini (West Coast) whānau and the wider community have an exciting opportunity to help co-design a new programme designed to support rangatahi and tamariki with their mental health and wellbeing.

The successful kura-based Mana Ake programme is heading to communities around Aotearoa, with Te Tai Poutini health and social services provider Poutini Waiora leading the West Coast roll out.

The initiative is a collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education. At a local level, the programme design is led by a partnership Steering Group with iwi, consumer and school representation, local social and health services, West Coast DHB and Ministry of Education.

The programme will empower around 950 tamariki in years 1 to 8 living on Te Tai Poutini, by providing the right support when and where they need it. It will give them the skills they need to manage grief, loss, parental separation and bullying, while also providing advice, guidance, and workshops for parents, whānau and kaiako.

West Coast Mana Ake Team Leader Sarah Birchfield says whānau and Te Tai Poutini communities will have an opportunity to co-design the new programme.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our whānau and communities to help create a programme that meets the unique needs of Te Tai Poutini tamariki,” she says.

A series of hui will be held during July and August for anyone interested to learn more about Mana Ake and how they can contribute. Events are scheduled in Haast, Franz Josef, Hokitika, Arahura Marae, Reefton, Greymouth, Hari Hari, Westport and Karamea.

“Our whānau know exactly the type of challenges their tamariki are facing, so their advice will be invaluable for Mana Ake. Together we will build a successful programme tailored to Te Tai Poutini that will help all tamariki develop positive coping skills and resilience.

“As parents, we want the very best for our tamariki who may be experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges. Mana Ake is about working together, listening to our tamariki, and designing services, activities and programmes to meet their individual needs.

Sarah Birchfield says the Te Tai Poutini programme will involve agencies working with tamariki taking a Whānau Ora approach using the Te Whare Tapa Wha model – drawing on physical, spiritual, family, and mental health.

“Te Whare Tapa Wha brings together everyone involved in the lives of our tamariki to work together to achieve the best possible outcome. This means we need to hear from parents, kaumātua, caregivers, and all others who care for and support our tamariki.”

As well as collectively developing clear referral pathways for tamariki and whānau who require formalised support, the programme will strengthen collaboration between agencies.

“The Mana Ake service will continue to be part of our community response moving forward, to enhance the lives of all Te Tai Poutini whānau. Together, we will empower our tamariki to grow up with the right support to achieve their dreams,” says Sarah Birchfield.

The series of hui will begin Monday 4 July at Haast and anyone interested in achieving positive outcomes for children are welcome to attend.

Kai, tea, and coffee will be provided. Petrol vouchers will be available at the end of each hui after a questionnaire has been filled in.

Transport is also available upon request. Please contact Sarah Birchfield on 027 340 5342.

Further information is also available in our Mana Ake flyer.

Also see: Hari Hari hui details here.

Background Information:

Timetable for hui







Haast School

3.30 – 5pm


Franz Josef

St John

4 – 5.30pm



Club Buller

1 – 2.30pm (stakeholders)

6 – 7.30pm (Whānau and others interested)



Karamea Area


3.30 – 5pm

11 or 12/07/2022


Arahura Marae




The Beachfront


1 – 2.30pm (stakeholders)

6 – 7.30pm (Whānau and others interested)



Reefton Area


3.30 – 5pm



The Ashley


1 – 2.30pm (stakeholders)

6 – 7.30pm (Whānau and others interested)


Hari Hari

(Please refer to info on this flyer for details)

South Westland Area School


1.30pm – 2.30pm



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Page last updated: 25 July 2022

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