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Te Whāriki o te Ara Oranga

The network for innovators, influencers and leaders driving change

Te Whāriki o te Ara Oranga (Whāriki)

The Government's response to the He Ara Oranga report on Mental Health and Addiction included the creation of a platform to share innovative practices and foster improvements in mental health and addiction services for all New Zealanders. Te Whāriki o te Ara Oranga (Whāriki) is a response to this call.

Te Tiriti-based and sector-owned, Whāriki is accelerating improvements in mental health, wellbeing and equity in Aotearoa. Whāriki provides a metaphorical mat, where the sector unites to weave innovative solutions together, to support and prioritise equitable, just outcomes in Aotearoa. Together, our weavers share their kōrero of services, models. Whāriki provides a forum for kaimahi who are tika and pono, supporting healthy equity by:

  • Supporting the kaimahi Māori workforce to design and deliver systems and services that work well for Māori
  • Supporting Pākehā and non-Māori workforce to be culturally safe and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations
  • Amplifying the voices and mahi of kaimahi Māori, mātanga Māori and kaupapa Māori models
  • Demonstrating Te Tiriti o Waitangi in action, and providing mechanisms to share knowledge and models to support equity of outcomes for Māori
  • Challenging and disrupting systems that are not serving Māori, and finding solutions together
  • Being sector led and responsive to the needs of the workforce
  • Connecting people and services across the motu for collective impact and learning.

An online platform helps members make connections to share their experiences, resources, and practical examples of how they are delivering services differently. Whāriki supports talent, drive, and new ways of thinking by identifying great models and services that already exist.

Be part of change

Nau mai, haere mai, join us in weaving a network and movement where we connect, collaborate and create systems that support people to be well and thrive in Aotearoa.

Key kaupapa

  • improve equity for Māori
  • increase access to services
  • expand choices so that services work well for people
  • support the mental health and addictions workforce to learn and development.

Alongside our key focus themes Whāriki are pleased to extend the kaupapa in the following areas to inspire and support workforce development and innovation.

Our Kaupapa

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

  • Cultural safety
  • Haumi allies
  • Disrupting institutional racism


  • Māori change makers & innovation (tools and models)
  • National māori equity leaders rōpū
  • Lived experience
  • Rangatahi

Tika Tangata

  • Human rights
  • Mental Health Act
  • Least restrictive practice
  • Social justice
  • Lived experience
  • Disability services

Get in touch with a member of our team to recommend initiatives, feedback and contribute to the kōrero.

The team

The Whāriki kaimanaaki connect, engage and inspire leaders, innovators and share the mātauranga (knowledge) they bring. They provide support, scan for new ideas and host learning events for the sector. From left to right: Isabella Hammond; Lianne Kohere; Kahu-Rangi Watene; Katheryn Butters.

Meet Lianne Kohere

Whāriki Kaikōtuitui (Network/Relationship Specialist)

Muaūpoko, Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Waikato-Tainui, Te Arawa. Lianne has over 30 years’ experience in the Public Sector across the New Zealand Army, Health and Disability sector and Ara Poutama, Department of Corrections. Lianne has a wide range of skills in Human Resources, Māori Workforce Development, Learning and Development, a Corrections Officer and most recently the Workforce Lead for the co-design project of Hikitia, Waikeria Mental Health & Addictions Service. Her passion and drive are to improve equity for Māori and their hapori.

Meet Kahu-Rangi Watene

Whāriki Kaiwaewae - (Te Reo Māori advisor, programme Coordinator)

Tūhourangi-Ngāti Wāhiao, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Manu, Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei.

Kahu-Rangi comes from a whānau of educationalists, and her professional journey has primarily been in the field of education. Kahu-Rangi worked as a kaiako in kōhanga reo and puna kōhungahunga, where she developed a deep appreciation for the importance of early childhood education and the nurturing of our tamariki.  Also having served as a public servant, Kahu-Rangi has experience working with and for whānau Māori in te reo Māori educational settings.

Meet Isabella Hammond (MC, BA, ATCL)

Whāriki Communications and Marketing Manager

Te Ātihaunui-a-Pāpārangi

Isabella holds a Bachelor of Arts, and Master of Communication with Distinction from Te Herenga Waka⁠—Victoria University of Wellington, where she previously worked as Senior Marketing and Communications Adviser. Her Master’s degree focussed on Kaupapa Māori and its application as a methodology in the world of media and communication. Isabella has worked in several roles across both the public and private sector. Working with Māori, for Māori, has always been central to Isabella's mahi.

Meet Katheryn Butters (RN, MPhil)

Whāriki Ringa Kohikohi (Knowledge Broker) Pākehā, tangata tiriti

Katheryn is a registered nurse with 30 years in the mental health and addiction sector in leadership, management, and education roles. Katheryn has had successes with small and large-scale change and is committed to social justice and equity for Māori. Having joined from the university sector, Katheryn has a particular interest in how to support and develop the workforce to make real changes that improve services for the people of Aotearoa.


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