“We walk alongside whānau, step by step, to help them break down the barriers and overcome the kinds of fears that hold all of us back from reaching our full potential.”

Our Mahi

The kaupapa of Tātai Ora is driven from our deep desire to provide meaningful and transformational experiences and change for whānau. We aim to motivate whānau, fuel their desire for long-term growth and change, and help them realise their own potential to achieve mana motuhake.


Te Tupu is a whānau and community capability development kaupapa that focuses on the needs and wellbeing of whānau.

Tātai Ora meets the needs of whānau, by reclaiming traditional Māori values to empower sports leaders, and by re-orientating the sports clubs’ environment they are part of.

Te Tupu is about putting whānau at the forefront, re-positioning them as a priority, and re-orientating and re-modelling the mainstream sports club model and infrastructure so that they align with a Māori world view.
Rather than focusing on an ‘organisational model’ that compromises Māori belief systems, we cultivate a ‘values-based model’. This provides a more nurturing environment for whānau success, both in and out of the sporting arena.

Te Tupu comes from the whakataukī:

Tūngia te ururua kia whakatupu ai te tupu o te harakeke
– (‘Burn the dead undergrowth of the harakeke to allow for new growth’).

Te Tupu draws on the concept of removing the things that prevent us from reaching our potential. We must do away with systems and structures within the sporting environment that not only fail to meet the needs of whānau, but have been proven to disrupt the natural alignment between whānau aspirations and whānau wellbeing.

Tātai Ora has the potential to rejuvenate clubs as places where whānau are happy, healthy, and part of successfully functioning communities. Our five foundational values are also found in successfully functioning marae.


Toa Takitini is inspired by the whakataukī:

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini
– (‘Success is not the work of an individual, but the work of many’.)

It often takes many people to successfully bring about collective change. This Tātai Ora initiative addresses both the social and environmental aspects of the sporting environment so that whānau experiences within these spaces are uplifting, mana enhancing, fun, enjoyable and safe for all.

Sport is a central activity in the lives of many whānau. Those whānau (and the tamariki) who participate in multiple sports each year, often come to sports environments to support each other and cheer from the side-lines. Unfortunately, they can also be intimidating spaces where they (including the sports teams) are exposed to negative and harmful attitudes and behaviours such as side-line outbursts and unsportsmanlike behaviours. These also have a damaging impact on match officials and volunteers alike.

Whānau are central to this negative behaviour, both as victims and perpetrators. Apart from negatively impacting on everyone’s overall sporting experiences, the ingrained long-standing stereotypes associated with Māori participation in sport of the “noble savage”, or “sporting warrior” are also used as an excuse for perpetuating negative behaviour.

Working alongside players, volunteers and club administrators, Tātai Ora re-defines the way participants see themselves. They are empowered to move from being “sporting warriors” with negative attitudes and violent behaviours that are harmful to whānau and te kāinga (the home), to become “Warriors of Light”.


Taiohi Tū Rangatira is a kaupapa Māori leadership initiative, co-designed with taiohi (youth) leaders. It provides a pathway for nurturing the potential within the youth of today to become the confident and courageous leaders of tomorrow.

Through sports, and guided through a kaupapa Māori lens, taiohi are nurtured to strengthen their tuakiritanga (cultural identity) and their resilience to negative and harmful attitudes and damaging behaviours (such as racism, bullying, violence, suicide and addiction) which can prevent taiohi from reaching their greatest potential.

As they tap into the values and principles within te ao Māori, Tātai Ora knows that their confidence grows and that they can be empowered to step out in a positive direction, each and every day.


Te Whetū Mārama is a kaupapa Māori initiative that empowers whānau to navigate themselves towards a positive state of wellbeing. It incorporates the strengthening of social support within the local community.

As a kaupapa that aims to provide support to those who experience mild to moderate distress, Te Whetū Mārama draws on mātauranga Māori, to get to the core of mental and emotional distress, which reflects an imbalance in their wairua and mauri (life force).

We understand that whānau have varying needs, which is why we take the time to sit with you (often over a cuppa tea/coffee) to understand your dreams and aspirations, and to create a pathway to toiora (positive wellbeing).

This is a FREE primary mental health support service for all ages, without the time restraints or capped appointments that are common in typical mental health services.

We have two kaimahi (located in Tauranga and Rotorua) supported by a team of lived-experience and cultural practitioners, working across the Waiariki region.

If you are experiencing mental and emotional distress, and/or are challenged with addiction, and would like support that is culturally responsive and clinically informed, get in touch with one of our kaimahi. We will come to you!