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About Te Pou

He whakamārama

Te Pou is a national workforce centre for mental health, addiction and disability in New Zealand.

This is who we are

Te Pou is a not-for-profit, national workforce development centre. We aim to improve the lives of people with mental health, addiction, and disability needs by connecting the people working with them, tāngata whai ora, tāngata whaikaha and their whānau, with knowledge, resources, training, and information.


Our work is staunchly evidence based. We gather, review, and analyse information. We use data and evidence about what works to improve people’s practice and the experience and outcomes for those using mental health, addiction, and disability services. We are constantly using evidence to inform and re-inform the workforce, their attitudes, values, knowledge, skills for their practice, and wider thinking.

Re informing 1 both directions horizontal
Te Pou uses evidence to inform and reinform workforce development.

Our name

Pou are commonly thought of as pillars, upright support poles, or posts. But in traditional Māori narratives of the origin of the universe, pou were pillars of light, used to keep sky and earth separated. This allowed the natural world to flourish and, in turn, people to prosper. As a verb, pou can also mean to establish and confirm, or to be a stalwart or mentor. In our logo, the blue represents the sky, the non-physical and intellectual realm – knowledge, truth and evidence (in other words, information). The green symbolises the tangible, physical world – land and people (workforce). The white triangle is the intersection of these two concepts. It signifies us – where we work as a connector, supporter, marker, and mentor, connecting information (evidence) and people.

Te Pou horizontal

Connector, Supporter, Mentor, Marker

As a connector, supporter, and mentor, we gather and analyse key information to best understand at a human level what is most needed to restore and improve wellbeing and mental health. We help to bring new understanding, insights, and skills. We use the evidence to provide guidance and support to those working in mental health, addiction and disability, and the broader health sector. As a marker, Te Pou offers reliable, effective, and accurate information, training, and resources to inform and support the workforce, drive service improvement and increase understanding of how the workforce needs to grow and develop.

Our commitment to Te Titiri o Waitangi, diversity and inclusion

Our work recognises and is underpinned by our obligations to Māori as identified in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It is informed and shaped by Māori and reflects Māori worldviews and perspectives. It promotes actions to achieve equitable health outcomes for Māori. Also central to our work is our Kanorau Charter setting out our active commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the whole population. Our work is informed and co-designed by people with lived experience of accessing mental health, addiction, and disability services.

Working together

We do not work alone. We work with and alongside many others in advancing and improving the wellbeing and mental health of New Zealanders, including the other health workforce development centres. We are primarily funded through Ministry of Health (the Ministry) contracts and work closely with the Mental Health and Addiction and Health Workforce directorates in the Ministry.

Part of the Wise Group

We are part of the Wise Group, which provides our business management services such as finance, communications, human resources, and payroll. We work most closely with Blueprint for Learning, which shares our governance and chief executive, and delivers mental health and addiction workshops and training for the wider workforce and community. Blueprint for Learning (Blueprint) is a private training establishment, with NZ Qualifications Authority (NZQA) registration and accreditation. Blueprint also has a focus on training a wider workforce, including Government agency staff, business, and the community. Some of our staff work for both organisations.

The Wise Group

The Wise Group is a family of community organisations sharing a common purpose: to create fresh possibilities and services for the wellbeing of people, organisations and communities.

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Blueprint For Learning

Blueprint for Learning is one of New Zealand’s largest training providers in mental health and addiction, dedicated to both workforce development and community training.

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Our whānau

The talented Te Pou whānau bring diverse skills, cultures and life experiences to our work and collaboration in mental health, addiction and disability workforce development.

Our People
The Te Pou board

The Te Pou board comprises talented, dedicated and inspiring people with a vast amount of passion and expertise across all areas of our work in mental health, addiction and disability.

Our Board