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The role of the Regional Forensic and Rehabilitation Inpatient Mental Health Service at Te Korowai Whāriki is to provide inpatient and outpatient care for both youth and adult clients.

The service’s inpatient buildings are mainly located on the grounds of what was once Porirua Hospital, and have been given the name of Rātonga-Rua-O-Porirua, translating to “The Two Services of Porirua”.

The site is unique in design and has purpose-built buildings. The Regional Forensic and Rehabilitation Services share the use of several buildings across the campus. The buildings on the campus include Papatuanuku (Administration/ Forensic community team offices), Tangaroa (Activity Centre), Ruamoko (Maori cultural centre), Vaka Pasifika (Pasifika cultural centre) and the Chapel, which is also used as a drop-in centre for clients.

Support for Māori clients

Our Forensic and Inpatient Rehabilitation Service supports Māori clients in strengthening their cultural identify to support their recovery and wellbeing.

Our Māori cultural facility, Ruaumoko, provides culturally appropriate assessment, management, treatment and rehabilitation in hospital, prison and in the community for clients who identify as Māori.

Our Kaumatua, Kuni Sherpherd and Whaea, Areta Koopu, lead the services for Māori. Kuni mentors many Māori and non-Māori clients who attend culture-based programmes at Ruaumoko and supports and advises senior staff on Māori protocol. Kuni has tribal affiliations to Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Porou, Whakatohea and Ngai-Te-Rangi.

Areta is a mental health nurse who has worked in many parts of mental health service.

She supports Kuni, advises senior staff and is a member of the kaumatua kaunihera group. Her tribal affiliation is to Ngāti Kahungungu.

Vaka o le Pasifika

Vakla o le Pasifika is the first re-designed facility in New Zealand Forensic services, looking to provide an environment for Pacific people utilizing mental health services, enabling preservation of cultural practices, protocols, values and beliefs that they are accustomed to.

The fundamental aim, is that Pacific people are able to maintain their unique identity with confidence and high self- esteem that can assist them in their journey towards recovery.

The name Vaka o le Pasifika is derived from a combination of different Pacific languages.

Vaka meaning ‘canoe or vessel’

O le Pasifika meaning‘of the Pacific’

The significance of the Vaka, within the team context, is utilized as the vessel that will ensure the needs of Pacific people, are met in a culturally appropriate manner.

The ethos for the Vaka o le Pasifika team, is to achieve better outcomes for Pacific people accessing Te Korowai Whariki Services, by identifying gaps for Pacific service users and providing culturally competent support, clinical expertise and appropriate interventions.

In 1999, Le Mamea Tavaga Afele Seuala was appointed Pasifika Consultant.

A significant milestone and the very first Pasifika position appointed to

Te Korowai Whariki Services delivering to Pacific people accessing CCDHB Mental Health.

The main purpose of this position is to ensure;

  • There is Pacific representation at all levels of the service.
  • Consultation and advice is provided to Te Korowai Whariki management at a strategic level on Pacific processes, protocols also offer some perspective concerning issues that can impact Pacific peoples.

Vaka o le Pasifika Team:

Le Mamea Tavaga Afele Seuala: Pasifika Consultant.

Henry Field: Pasifika Clinician (Inpatient Services)

Talosaga Vanilau: Pasifika Programs’ Coordinator.

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