Operating in Christchurch for the past 23 years, He Waka Tapu plays a vital role in helping local whanau access much-needed services, as well as running a number of important programmes specialising in anger management, alcohol and drug addictions, and personal health including health promotion.

He Waka Tapu is a Kaupapa Maori organisation, with services delivered using a kaupapa Maori framework encompassing Tinana (physical well-being), Wairua (spiritual well-being), Hinengaro (mental well-being) and Whānau (family well-being).

“We’re all about whanau and just getting together and making sure they can access services that they require, when they require them,” Health & Infrastructure Manager Tanith Petersen says.

“Making sure that it’s nice and easy, not clunky and clinical.

“Because we’re located on the Eastside it makes accessibility really easy, and we get out and support quite a few things in the community and run a few events are all about whanau as well.

“We collaborate with City 2 Surf and take 1200 whanau from the community out to the event.”

He Waka Tapu and Canterbury Rugby League are community partners, with links between the two organisations running deep.

The relationship was a natural one, given their shared values and a significant crossover in their respective communities.

“We have quite a few league nuts here and we’ve been supporting Canterbury Rugby League for a few years now,” Petersen says.

“We support organisations that are about getting whanau moving, and we can complement Canterbury Rugby League by being able to support whanau with their health requirements if they need to access them.”

Meanwhile, He Waka Tapu has a MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Bros for Change, which was developed by Rockcote Canterbury Bulls and New Zealand Maori rep Jaye Pukepuke, who helps He Waka Tapu deliver some of their suicide prevention programmes.

Petersen says Canterbury Rugby League’s commitment to inclusiveness, healthy choices and positive behaviour tie in seamlessly with He Waka Tapu’s principles.

“It’s all about diversity and accessibility for people from all walks of life.

“If we can work at the proactive end of the scale that’s really great, because it’s all about behaviour at the end of the day.”

He Waka Tapu are also launching a new helpline, 0800 HeyBro (0800 439 276), on June 5th.

“It’s for men who are wanting to keep their whanau safe,” Petersen explains.

“They would give that number a call if they are getting a bit on the angry side and wanting to not do any of the stuff that would create harm.

“It’s a number for them to call when they’re feeling the heat, to get in contact with someone on the other end of the line that listens and supports them through with some of the stuff they need.”


He Waka Tapu

Whaiora Online

Bros For Change


Free Phone: 0800 HE WAKA

Phone: +64 3 373 8150
Fax: +64 3 381 3207

  Email: reception@hewakatapu.org.nz

161 Pages Road, Wainoni, Christchurch 8061, New Zealand
PO Box 150 37, Aranui, Christchurch, New Zealand

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