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Nau mai, welcome to Te Kete Rongomau

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Nau mai, welcome to our first pānui for this project, entitled Te Kete Rongomau. Today we invite you to learn more about our project, including the gifting of our name, who we are, and what we hope to achieve as a collective with our communities.


Our project

Substitute decision-making – where others make decisions for us in the form of compulsory treatment – causes and compounds distress, harm, and inequities, particularly for Māori. International treaties and guidelines, domestic codes of rights, and He Ara Oranga (the government inquiry into mental health and addiction) require substitute decision-making to be replaced with supported decision-making (where individuals are supported to make their own mental health decisions based on their will and preferences) in law and mental health practice. Stakeholders have told us that they believe Mental Health Advance Preference Statements (MAPS) are tools that can be used to facilitate supported decision-making.

We are undertaking a comprehensive project of creation, implementation, and evaluation of MAPS in the mental health settings of Te Whatu Ora Lakes and Te Whatu Ora Waikato.

You can read more about the project and previous research we have completed here.


Our name

Reflecting the co-governance and co-design of this work, the research project was bestowed a Māori name, Te Kete Rongomau. Kaumātua (respected leaders) Hori Kingi and Wi Huata, composed the name and presented it at a hui to research team members and regional partners. The name refers to a carrier (Te kete) of a taonga – or precious resource. In this sense, the taonga represents advanced preference statements which are seen as an agreement or settlement of autonomy, control and power (rongomau). Like other Indigenous cultural traditions, Māori naming practices are often reflective of deep personal, historical or cultural connections. The choice of name was made because the aim of the research is to champion the self-determination of tāngata whaiora by privileging the voice, experience and expertise of service users.

The tohu or by-line of our title – respecting our rights, will and preferences – serves to bring together our domestic and international obligations, particularly with respect to this concept of supported decision-making, which requires all forms of support, including the most intensive, to be based on the will and preferences of the person concerned.

Finally, the whakatauki chosen in support of the project is:

Mā te tuakana e tika ai te teina, Mā te teina e tika ai te tuakana

Through relationships and respect we can find a way forward.


Our people

We are a diverse team passionate about improving responses to whānau experiencing mental distress.

The project is guided by the constitutional model set out in He Puapua, thus ensuring research which is Te Tiriti o Waitangi-led, upholds UN treaties, and is in step with co-governance for the health sector. He Puapua provides a roadmap for Aotearoa to fully realise the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). He Puapua draws on Matike Mai to conceptualise Te Tiriti o Waitangi relationships in constitutional terms, outlining three spheres of influence over decision-making: Tino Rangatiratanga, Kāwanatanga, and Relational. The Tino Rangatiratanga sphere includes Māori governance over people and places. The Kāwanatanga sphere represents Crown governance. An overlapping and larger Relational sphere reflects the space where Māori and the Crown join in decision-making over mutual concerns.

In this research, our governance and teams have been shaped by this constitutional model. We have been influenced by the innovative anti-racism research programme developed by Came, Kidd, and McCreanor, which has guided how we hold together diverse teams, designs, and methods of the project.

A governance committee that sits independently of the research team provides additional layers of support. This is a group of people with the expertise to mirror the three-sphere model. The governance committee acts as additional checks and balances to ensure we get things tika or ‘right’ across all phases of the project and stay true to the three spheres of influence articulated in He Puapua and Matike Mai. Current members include:

  • Hori Kingi, Te Awhi, Waikato and Te Kete Pounamu, Te Rau Ora

  • Kiri Prentice, Māori Minds

  • Jordy Bealing, Te Aka Whai Ora/Māori Health Authority

  • Hannah Whittaker-Komatsu, Manatū Hauora/Ministry of Health

  • Guy Baker, Te Hiringa Mahara/Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

  • Aroha Metcalf, Te Aka Whai Ora/Māori Health Authority

Our project leadership team includes Sarah Gordon, Johnnie Potiki, Armon Tamatea and Katey Thom. They are supported by project manager Rachel Tester.

The project is bolstered by an academic team from across Aotearoa, who, in addition to specific areas of expertise, are to support publications, conferences and dissemination of the project resources. The academic team includes Giles Newton-Howes, Tony O'Brien, Jessie Lenagh-Glue, Paul Glue, Kris Gledhill, Tony Dowell and James Stanley.

Te Whatu Ora Lakes and Te Whatu Ora Waikato are partnering with the leadership and academic team to co-design, implement and evaluate the use of MAPS. Their teams are supported by Maryanne Richardson (Lakes) and Debbie Goodwin (Waikato) as project managers and key liaisons with the leadership team.

You can read more about the team and our roles on the project here.

Save the date - 2024 Community Symposium

Date: 9 February 2024

Time: 9 am – 1 pm

Location: Online (Zoom)

Purpose: To raise community awareness about Mental Health Advance Preference Statements (MAPS)



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