He aha te me nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata! What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people; it is the people; it is the people! These words are not only found on the walls at Mana o te Tangata Trust but are entrenched in the staff, programmes and the entire organisation. As a kaupapa Māori Mental Health and Addiction Peer Support Service, they put their heart and soul into everything they do for their community and, most importantly, their people.

Established in 2015, they have worked to create a space where tangata whaiora and whānau can come and be heard and supported on their journey to mauri ora. Embedded in their practice are the principles of Ko Wai Au (Who am I) and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Understanding these principles encourages tangata whaiora to take charge of their own wellbeing and participate and contribute to whānau and community life.

As you read through the variety of services they provide, it is clear to see the care and thought they have put into providing services tailored for Māori whānau. Their programmes cater to different needs and interests while being anchored in mātauranga Māori and tikanga. Services such as Peer Support Mental Health and Addictions, Te Punawai (safe space for those experiencing mental health distress), Tāne Tū Tāne Ora (Men’s group), Toitū Te Ora (AOD support in partnership with Corrections), Mana Beatz (self-expression through music) to name a few. It is a great example of how to meet the unique needs of your community by incorporating cultural values and practices. Thereby making the services relevant and accessible to whānau.

The staff are also a key part of their success. They go above and beyond in their service with whānau. Having had their own lived experience, they draw on their learnings and provide encouragement and support to whānau on their journey to mauri ora. It is this combination of the right people, in the right place at the right time, and doing the right things that makes Mana o te Tangata the success it is today.

If you are interested in creating your own solutions to support your community, check out Ki te Ara Whakamua: Māori Community Action Fund. A one-off contestable fund established to reduce Alcohol and Drug Harm. Open until 2 June 2023.

Photo credit: Mana o Te Tangata Tāne Ora

2 Cameron Street, Kaiwharawhara

+64 4 473 9591 or 0800 628 284


About Us

To improve Māori Health through leadership, education, research and evaluation, health workforce development and innovative, systemic transformation. We strengthen Māori health and wellbeing through nationally navigated and locally led solutions.