Rakau Ora Ltd Mental Health Support

Rakau Ora Ltd Mental Health Support

We pride ourselves on providing authentic understanding & support with a difference.

Rakau Ora Ltd provides Mental Health Support with a team of Qualified Health Professionals and Specialized Peer Support with amazing tales of lived experience.


Kia ora whanau
Hope your all well this Kings weekend. Couple of things:

Firstly we are humbled to host Hush Beauty Lounge from Kaikohe this Saturday 08 June 10-7pm. Please reach out to them for any of their services. We pride ourselves on supporting Maori Wahine doing it for themselves. Welcome back to Kaitaia whanaunga!

Secondly I am again excited to let you know about our new service moving forward. As you have probably noticed we approach mental wellness a little 'outside the box'. In true Rakau Ora style we are at it again. As a NZ Reg Nurse I have had the privilege of providing tattoo laser treatment in the past. The amazing transition I have witnessed with whanau has been extraordinary. After a lot of thought and interest from whanau I am humbled to now bring this service home.

We are awaiting our laser and updating my training (it's been a little while) and we hope to have this service up and running near the end of July 2024. At this stage this will offer sessions a few evenings after-hours and will be strictly bookings only.

Prices will range from $40-$100 per session and this obviously depends on the size of the tattoo needing removal. We will accept eftpos, after pay and are awaiting our WINZ application for such payments. Will keep you posted with this. Note: This is a long process, usually 4-6 weeks each session, so patience is important.

If you are interested in getting in early for your session please email [email protected] and we will guide you with securing your place. This truely is life changing whanau!

Mauri Ora Whanau

Mobile uploads 29/05/2024

We have 2 spaces available for our Rangatahi development Group. 1st Hui is this Friday 17th May 2024 at 11-1

This group is about Rangatahi creating a wellness group for other Rangatahi in our area, under the guidance of our kaimahi and clinician.

Please call us on 408 4999, for details by Thursday.
Nga mini


So proud all our team is out there today up skilling. Rakau Ora team are all in First Aide today to better keep our community safe. PJs Hair Studio team are in Palmerston North getting essential cuts perfected and here I sit following up on all of you who have come to visit our drop in centre.

So proud of our team, our kids for putting up with us, our kaupapa and our commitment to our awesome community.

Have an awesome day whanau.

Nga mihi


Kia ora whanau
Reflecting on our time here in Kaitaia and really proud of what we have been able to achieve.

Our counselling sessions AWHI KORERO has been so humbling and again we thank the whanau who have trusted us with their purakau and worked honestly to make change. I heard recently ITS NOT WEAK TO SPEAK and this encompasses our kaupapa in this space perfectly. Arohamai we currently have a waitlist for this service but they usually will clear every couple of weeks. Give us a call and I can share other resources in the community to 'hold you over'.

The Drop In After hours has been 'interesting' to say the least. Learning more about the needs of our whanau here in the far north. Often people are sharing that they don't feel 'mental' so don't think the space is for them. Whanau this is a space for everyone to avoid issues getting any worse and also a space to meet new people. Come in for a good laugh and awhi!

Our Rangatahi drop in has been busier than I thought to be honest. I am so proud of the brave rangatahi popping into the space for advice, to chill or just to take a pause in everyday struggles. Within this space we have a great Rangatahi Development Group in the making. We are gathering 6 rangatahi who want to make a difference in our community. We currently have 4 so 2 more spaces!

The kaupapa of this group is to identify what is not working for rangatahi in our community, what is working (there are some great services already) and to create a group BY RANGATAHI FOR RANGATAHI. They will then have the opportunity to run the group they created. Rangatahi will be working with and under the guidance of our kaimahi with lived experience. This is really exciting and something we are passionate about. Please call Renae on 09-4084999 who will arrange a catch up if your interested. This offer will close this Wednesday 24 April with first session being the 26 April.

PJ's Hair studio is making moves with our 2 new barbers Freedom and Marcus. It's such a vibe to visit and I'm sure they were comedians in their past life! They will be attending hair cutting essential training early May and then we are able to provide you with the basics of cutting; trims, layers etc. We then have a senior stylist from Kerikeri who will be attending our studio every 6-8 weeks to upskill in others services of styling. We will let you know when the dates are set and will be taking discounted appointments for this time! UPSKILLING IS SO IMPORTANT TO US. Our braiders are also upskilling with their techniques and I love seeing the confidence of our wahine and tane rocking their new hair do's! Call Terina at the studio 09-4084999 for more details.

Recently we had a team hui and during this time I shared the support our PJs Hair Studio putea has given to the community. I realised then that I had not shared this with you all. Since we have started the studio we have been allocating funds from the cuts, and the koha we receive (Tena Koe) to those who can others wise not afford to support their mental wellness. We are proud to share that we have provided:
- 8 free cuts
- 14 free counselling sessions to whanau
- 2 gym membership to rangatahi

Thank you for supporting us to support others!

That's enough from me have a great week up coming and remember you are always welcome, always heard and always valued in our space.

Nga mihi
Ness and the team


There is always some one to talk to and sometimes a stranger is best. Between the hours of 5-9 please visit us at the end of 90 Commerce street Hofsted Arcade, Kaitaia for face to face support or phone 09-4084999 to talk. After 9pm reach out to 1737 for further support.

Thank you to the team at Te Hiku Hauora for sharing this post, so valuable!

🚨Sometimes, a listening ear is all we need.

🌿If you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety, grief, or just feeling low and need to talk to someone- REACH OUT!

🌈 Text or call 1737 to talk to a trained professional who can help guide you through a plan.

📌For more information, visit www.1737.org.nz

🤝Let's take on life’s challenges together.



Congratulations to the winners of our Colour competition at the Drop In space:
1st Kylie $50 pakies voucher
2nd Dylan $30 petrol voucher
3rd. Ruben $20 MacDonalds Voucher

Thank you for visiting our Rangatahi and after hours space. You are always welcome.

Phone 09-4084999 for hours and services.

Nga mihi
Drop In Team


Rakau Ora have a Six60 ticket for tomorrow night at TeAhu to give away to one lucky winner.

All we ask is you like,share and follow this post and go give big girl Journey a follow on Facebook.

We will go live tomorrow so get your outfit ready 💃🕺


Morena whanau,
Updating on the haps down Hofstede Arcade!

Our adult drop in space is well and truly on a role. Thanks for coming in and chilling with us at the drop in space. I hope you left settled and feeling supported. We are open in this space from Monday - Friday 5-9pm. Please note the gate to the arcade is shut during these times and entry is through West Lane. Nau mai haere mai!

I have been seeing a lot of unrest with our rangatahi in the community via fb and on the streets. Just a reminder that we have a dedicated rangatahi space Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10-4 for your/our rangatahi to come and chill and be surrounded by non judgemental, good vibe, lived experience kaimahi. Movie time is 2pm if your keen POPCORN on!

On Fridays 10-1pm we have a Mental Health Nurse clinic. We are able to support you or your rangatahi to identify your goals or stressors and help to create a care plan for your future. Free of charge! phone 09-4084999 or ask at the drop in to book in.

PJ's Hair Studio is going off! Our new barbers have settled in they are now dedicated to Monday to Saturday 09-4pm but they are more than accommodating to stay back if you need. Remember these cuts go toward supporting others in their mental health and for that we appreciate your community support. Tena koe Freedom and Marcus Mana Tāne!

For all your self care and mental wellness needs call in or phone on 09-4094888.

Nga mihi


A safe space in the heart of Kaitāia opens its doors wide next week to welcome whānau requiring mental health support after traditional clinic hours.

The Rakau Ora Ltd Mental Health Support drop-in pilot inaugurates its establishment in Kaitāia this Monday March 25 with a blessing and a goal to support whānau facing mental health difficulties, and redirect the emphasis from urgent, acute services in Te Hiku to address the growing community demands more effectively.

The hub is a part of the wider Taikorihi Locality initiative – one of several population health prototypes nationwide set up under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 to influence and inform the future investment of public health in New Zealand.

The Taikorihi Locality area encompasses the area bordering north Hokianga, Doubtless Bay and Cape Reinga, and Rākau Ora Managing Director Vanessa Kite says all Te Hiku whānau are welcome to the free, drop-in hub which will operate Monday to Friday from 5pm to 9pm and Saturdays from 12pm to 6pm for adults aged 18 and over.

As well as the after-hours drop-in hub, space will be open each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am to 4pm for rangatahi aged 12 to 17 years old.

"When services close at 5pm, our office space offers a non-judgemental environment where individuals can take a break from their struggles, steering away from negative influences like trap houses, pubs or crime and violence. Drawing from previous experiences in similar spaces in Australia, we have subtly adjusted the principles to Te Ao Māori and better meet the needs of the Te Hiku community,” Vanessa says.

The hub is comprised of a series of intimate spaces that allow for adults and taitamariki to spend some down time with a clinician or one of several volunteer kaimahi working with Rākau Ora. Whānau who drop in during the evening can expect a sympathetic ear or two, a cuppa and snack, and like-minded company. Puzzles, games, and colouring are also available, and if needed a referral to local services as they de-escalate at their pace and work through their immediate mental health needs with expert guidance.

Vanessa says that volunteer staff have rich, lived experience; they are also currently engaged in Level 3 and 4 Mental Health and Addiction Support training with the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, so the initiative is also helping to build capacity in Te Hiku in mental health support services from the grassroots up.

Vanessa says one benefit of an after-hours hub is that it can act as a conduit between whānau and other organisations to ensure that they receive ongoing help following short-term crises.

“The idea behind the after-hours and rangatahi space is simple but addresses a diverse range of needs. While providing immediate resources unique to their needs, our commitment extends to follow-up to ensure our whānau do not ‘fall in the gaps.’ While not assuming direct case management responsibilities, we are ensuring a seamless experience,” she says.

Kaitāia Hospital Operational Manager Neta Smith says the need for an after-hours mental support services in Te Hiku is “huge.”

She says there are currently 40 Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora staff working across the mental health and support services for adults, rangatahi, Māmā and their pēpi in the traditional hours of Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. Demand for support at times outside of traditional clinic hours has resulted in the hospital responding to whānau needs with innovative solutions.

For example, Neta says the hospital can see up to 150 ‘watchers’ in any given year, or people who require immediate, 24/7 medical assistance and surveillance. In response, the hospital has created an overnight safe space that caters for people of all ages and their whānau who are needing to come off substance abuse, de-escalate and be safe from harming themselves and others.

“We’ve got an overnight room that we’ve just put into the ward, where we can admit people ‘on watch.’ They will be admitted to the ward where we have 20 funded beds, so there is always a bed available,” Neta says.

She adds there is also a six-bed subacute unit available that accommodates unwell whānau aged 18 years and over who are either in the community or transferring back from Whangārei.

She adds the after-hours space now offered by Rākau Ora will be a welcome addition to mental support services across Te Hiku.

Taikorihi Programme Manager JJ Ripikoi says that oranga hinengaro is a significant kaupapa for whānau living in Te Hiku and the Taikorihi prototype is an opportunity for ensuring that whānau have a range of different supports available.

He adds says that data and insights gathered from the pilot and 12 other initiatives rolling out across Te Hiku will be collated and included in future recommendations to be made to Te Whatu Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora, and other Crown agencies.

“We understand the pressures that come with oranga hinengaro on both the person and their whānau. We will continue our mahi to direct additional funding and resources into Te Hiku to support kaupapa similar to the Rākau Ora after-hours drop-in,” he says.

Rākau Ora is located in the arcade at Hofsted Arcade, 1/90 Commerce Street, Kaitāia. For more information, visit www.rakauora.org.

For more information on Taikorihi and the Pae Ora health reforms taking place in Te Hiku, visit www.taikorihi.co.nz.


Nau Piki mai, Nau kake mai te iwi

We humbly invite our community to come and check out our new Drop In safe space, meet our team and chill!

Back office, Hofstede Arcade (old chiropractor office)
90 Commerce Street
09 –4084999

Monday 25 March 2024
10-12 pm

Nga mihi Nui

We will be open for after-hours service 25 March 5-9pm


Kia ora whanau
We will be closed on 6 February 2024 for Waitangi Day.

We acknowledge and honour our whanau on their hikoi from Te Rerenga Wairua to Waitangi and bid them safe journey on their last leg.


Kia ora whanau,
Here we are already nearly through Jan 2024! What the actuals?!

Exciting times at Rakau Ora and first and foremost huge mihi to those who we have been humbled to support in their journey. You guys have taught me so much in my path and I thank you sincerely x

****************COMING MARCH 2024*******************
I am beyond excited to present to you our up coming services at Rakau ora.

When the usual services close after 5pm, there are very limited options for support, not anymore. We provide a safe environment that welcomes everyone without requiring a referral. Our team includes not only dedicated professionals but also individuals with personal experiences who can understand and empathize with your situation.

You can visit us to enjoy a cup of coffee, watch TV, work on puzzles, and connect with like-minded individuals. If you prefer you can find a quite space to just chill. We have the staff expertise available to assess your mental health needs with further referral if needed.

Additionally, we can assist you in navigating the support systems and services available for you and/or your whanau . We will be open from 5pm to 9pm, and on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.

Please note this hub is strictly for whanau 18 years upwards.

We understand that many rangatahi in our area may be feeling 'stuck' or unsure about their situation or future. We are excited to offer a dedicated space for you to come and freely express and plan for who you want to be. This service will be open Monday and Friday from 10-4pm

Our team consists of committed professionals and supportive peers who are here to provide personal support, mental health resources, in a relaxed, safe environment where you can connect with like-minded individuals.

We can also guide you through the various systems and processes related to finding employment, housing, creating a CV, obtaining a license, accessing social services, putea issues, and much more.

In this space, you can enjoy a hot drink when it's cold or a cold drink when its hot. We also provide phone charging facilities and limited internet access (subject to conditions). You will always be welcome to just chill in our space without fear of judgement.

Our kaupapa, fundamental principle, in this space is that YOUR VOICE WILL BE HEARD!

Please note this hub is strictly for whanau 12 to 18 years.

Nga mihi
Ness and whanau x


Wishing you all a safe and peaceful holiday season.

We will reopen on the 2nd January 2024.

Nga mihi Ness


Kia ora whanau,

For many whanau, the holiday season can present a range of challenges and stressors. By taking proactive steps to plan coping strategies can offer a pathway to not only navigate these struggles but also discover moments of joy throughout this holiday season.

Prioritize your self-care:
It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but make sure to prioritize self-care. Give yourself permission to take breaks, engage in activities that bring you joy, and practice mindfulness, relaxation and karakia techniques ...... or just do nothing for a bit!

Manage expectations:
Christmas can sometimes bring pressure to create the "perfect" holiday experience. Remember that it's okay if everything doesn't go exactly as planned. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and set boundaries to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Reach out for support: Don't hesitate to lean on your support network during this time. Reach out to friends, whanau, or mental health professionals if you're struggling. Sharing your feelings can provide relief and remind you that you're not alone.

Set boundaries: Boundaries are essential for protecting your mental health. Don't feel obligated to attend every holiday event or take on more responsibilities than you can reasonably handle. Learn to say no without guilt, and prioritize activities that bring you joy.

Practice gratitude: The holiday season is a great time to practice gratitude. Take a moment each day to reflect on the things you're thankful for. This can help shift your focus away from stress and onto the positive aspects of your life.

Be kind and support each other: If you see whanau are struggling during this time reach out to them, they may not have the strength to reach out to you.

Nga mini nui

Nominate Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand to share $500,000 23/11/2023

Kia ora whanau
Just sharing this link if you wish to support us to further support our rohe. We are small in size but huge in heart.

Every vote counts - Rakau Ora Charitable Trust

Nga mihi

Nominate Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand to share $500,000 All Charities with 10000+ votes get a Grant

Photos from PJ'S HAIR Studio's post 02/11/2023

So proud of our team at PJ'S HAIR Studio looking good feeling good Mauri ora!


Kia Ora Whanau!
Welcome to PJ'S Hair studio's Official page.

Congratulations to Ash who won our $100 xmas voucher for visiting our studio in our opening week.

Our services include Barber work, Basic cuts and trims, Braids and cornrows. Coming soon dreadlocking!

We will update with pics of our mahi and if you have
any enquiries please contact us through messenger.

We look forward to meeting you!

Nga Mihi

Photos from Rakau Ora Ltd Mental Health Support's post 08/10/2023

Kia ora whanau! Thanks for a great first week at PJs hair studio. New freinds, old freinds and whanaunga we haven't seen in so long. It's been a vibe! Remember If the signs out we are open, haere mai.

Also Paula and Terina are ready for your braiding experience. These are by appointment only so give us a call on 094084999 or pop in and visit the team.

Keep being kind to each other and have an awesome week.

Nga mihi


Kia ora whanau,
Some of you may have been following our progress and We are finally and officially excited to present PJ's hair studio to Kaitaia!

We acknowledge the connection of how we look affecting our mental wellness. All our staff are completing their mental wellness orientation so they are able to catch you when you need. Our stylist/barber is at the top of her game and has genuine aroha for our whanau here in the far north. Our Reception/Braider is also local with a passion to give back to our community.

So with this kaupapa as our foundation we are proud to announce our opening day:
Thursday 5th October 2023
11am to 5pm

shop 2, Hofsted Arcade, 90 Commerce Street, Kaitaia.
Phone 09-4084999

Nau mai Haere mai
Ness x


Morena whanau
We have been busy as at this end. Some of you may know we are in the process of opening PJs Hair Studio. What has this got to do with mental wellness? EVERYTHING.

I know that when my kids and I are having a good hair day, we feel like we can take on the world. In true Te whare tapa wha fashion, our physical appearance plays a vital role to our overall well-being and how we handle ourselves day to day.

Being in a good vibe environment also allows us to take a break from our struggles and connect with people in a more relaxed environment. This is the underlying kaupapa of our studio.

Our staff are all local and come with their own lived experience around mental health, if not personally within the whanau. They have all completed their Rakau ora mental wellness orientation so have the added skills to catch you when you reach out!

I will keep you posted Mauri Ora! Ness


Kia ora whanau!
I have updated our website, a few technical issues but that's what you get when you try do it yourself?!

Exciting seeing our services (which is under products?) up for the world to see. You will also see that PJ's hair studio is coming very soon. We are painting and getting the right vibe over the next few weeks for your comfort.

We know how important it is to our mental health to not only feel good but look good while we take on the world!

Keep an eye out for our opening specials.

Nga mini



Kia ora whanau,
We know that a huge part of Mental Wellness is not only about how we think but how we look and feel. I see this everyday in our practise and know it from my own lived experience. This in mind, we have an exciting venture coming up please read below. Give me a call if this you or someone you know.

Nga mini


We are excited to join our fellow hairstylists, barbers and braiders here in Kaitaia with the opening of our salon in the upcoming month.

This is a panui requesting any expressions of interest from those who may be wanting to start their own business and contract a chair in our salon.

Your contract that includes a fixed rate per day will cover:
Premises, power, eftpos and phone facilities, water, basic supplies and importantly advertising.

Please note our Kaupapa is providing affordable cuts for our whanau here in the far north, as well as providing a safe space to ‘talk’ to someone who understands our daily stressors. Training will be provided to support you in supporting our whanau.

If this sounds like you and you want to have the attitude and skills to make a success of your own business, we would love to work with you. Please phone Vanessa on 09-4084999 for further information.


Kia ora
Popping into wish all our whanau a happy and rejuvenating Matariki weekend.

If like some of us you are unsure of what Matariki is about there is so much information out there now as well as amazing events in your very own rohe.

Honestly I had to research for myself, and for me Its a time of remembrance, letting go, resetting, overall wellness and whanau alongside Te Ao Maori.

We are so lucky. Join in and be open to our Maori New Year!

Be safe and be kind to each other

Mauri ora
Ness and whanau


Kia ora
I hope this beautiful weather is restoring revitalizing and relaxing the soul!

Unfortunately I will not be taking any new referrals for the next 3-4 weeks due to health and full case load. Sometimes I wish I could clone myself to keep on but sometimes you have to call it.

Times like this remind us to always remain grounded and intune with our bodies and importantly go through life at a pace that suits you and your whanau.

Much love and will keep you posted moving forward.

Nga mihi
Ness and whanau


Save The Date – Te Wiki Hauora Tāne| Men’s Health Week 12-18 June

Te Wiki Hauora Tāne | Men’s Health Week is dedicated to empowering men to prioritise their health, recognising it as their most important asset.

For our Tāne Māori, it’s a chance for you to take stock of your overall health and consider what changes you need to make to live a long and enjoyable life.

To start the process, MHW has created some resources and tools to help out:https://www.menshealthweek.co.nz/


Pass on to our men whanau

Save The Date – Te Wiki Hauora Tāne| Men’s Health Week 12-18 June

Te Wiki Hauora Tāne | Men’s Health Week is dedicated to empowering men to prioritise their health, recognising it as their most important asset.

For our Tāne Māori, it’s a chance for you to take stock of your overall health and consider what changes you need to make to live a long and enjoyable life.

To start the process, MHW has created some resources and tools to help out:https://www.menshealthweek.co.nz/


Rakau ora are proud to be a part of Kia piki te ora su***de prevention reform 2023. We have all in one way or another been effected by su***de. Please share and join in. Nga mihi Ness x

Kia ora koutou ngā whānau

Our CEO: Maria Baker will be sharing via Zoom Monday 8th May @ 3pm about the REDESIGN of Kia Piki te Ora Māori Su***de Prevention services in Te Hiku o te Ika. Come an join us for a whakarongo.


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Attention!!!!!Rakau Ora have a Six60 ticket for tomorrow night at TeAhu to give away to one lucky winner.All we ask is y...