In December 2005, the Ministry of Health selected Wise Trust as the most appropriate host to take three separate programmes into a new and inspirational era for mental health service delivery in this country – Mental Health Research and Development Strategy (MHRDS), the Mental Health Standard Measures of Assessment and Recovery initiative, known as MH-SMART and the Mental Health Workforce Development Programme (MHWDP).
Consequently, in March 2006, Wise Trust established a wholly owned charitable company, Mental Health Programmes Ltd, to take responsibility for the programmes. In 2008, Le Va, Pasifika within Te Pou, was established. Te Pou’s Disability Workforce Development programme was launched in 2010. On 1 April 2013, Te Pou changed its legal name from Mental Health Programmes Ltd to Te Pou Ltd.
Te Pou o Te Whakaaro Nui has been established as a pillar for both people and practices active in mental health. Te Pou is the main pillar that binds and brings together research activity and workforce development strategies. The united intent is to raise the ridgepole of the house which is said to have four sides - mental and emotional health, physical health, spiritual health and family health - and thence strengthen it.
The name Te Pou sprang from the earliest conversations held between the Wise Trust Board and the Ministry of Health, when the establishment of a national centre was being discussed. During the Trust's presentation to the Ministry, Wise trustee Brian Rankin stood, holding a copy of Te Tahuhu, and said: "if you are Te Tahuhu, then we are your Pou". Paul Meredith, a Maori researcher from Ngati Kaputuhi, Ngati Maniapoto, was engaged to look at a name that would reflect the activities and aspirations of the centre. After an initial briefing he said: "you are Te Pou".
Paul Meredith went on to develop the description and strapline: o Te Whakaaro Nui, or wise thinking. The primary artists who developed the brand were Hone Tutua (Ngati Awa), Rebecca de Haas and Angela Alonso.