Introducing Aaryn Niuapu – Kaiwhakamana, Te Kete Pounamu

He whatitiri ki te rangi, ko te arawa ki te whenua. Tīhei mauri ora! Ki te taha o tōku māmā, ko Ngāti Whakaue tōku iwi. Ko Marsh tōku whānau. Ki te taha o tōku pāpā, ko Ngāti Hāmoa tōku iwi. ko Niuapu tōku whānau. Turou, turou Hawaiki!

I have lived experience of depression, self-harm, anxiety and substance concerns, accessing mental health services in 2011 & 2012. Over the past decade, my pillars of strength within my recovery journey have been my whānau and te reo me ōna tikanga. I married my teenage sweetheart, Alesha (nee Hulme), and we have two beautiful kids – Hawaiki and Piipiwharauroa.

I have always been pulled towards matters of social justice across the mental health & addictions sector but more specifically, community rangatiratanga and racial justice. In that space and in the political organizing space, I have utilised my own lived experience to facilitate wānanga firmly grounded in the concept of whaioranga (a Kaupapa Māori-Recovery model).

I am honoured and grateful to be in my role within Te Rau Ora as Kaiwhakamana (training and development lead) – Te Kete Pounamu. I have the privilege of leading the rollout and implementation of Te Whare Whaioranga (Māori Recovery College) in the near future as well as the development and delivery of the Level 4 peer support training. In this role, I hope to support the growing capacity and capabilities of the Māori lived experience workforce.


Aaryn Niuapu
Kaiwhakamana, Te Kete Pounamu
Te Rau Ora