Dr Peta Ruha

Ngāti Awa

Dr Peta Ruha is driven by a desire to give back to the whanau through her mahi in the health sector. She has worked in 25 different mental health sectors and recently returned to Kawerau, where she was raised.

In 2022, Peta was appointed Tumuwhakarae Chief Executive of Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau Hauora. She uses her expertise in this position to provide those residing within Kawerau and the wider Eastern Bay of Plenty community with health, education and social services. 

Peta previously held the role of Principle Clinical Advisor for the office of the Directorate of Mental Health at the Ministry of Health, where she used her experience in the health sector to make a difference strategically to improve service delivery for Māori. Her focus is to provide Māori mental health service delivery models that reflect the needs of whānau.

Peta is also the Clinical Advisor to the Bay of Plenty District Health Board on the Suicide Prevention Postvention Action Plan. Her priority is to give the power back to the rangatahi to have a voice so initiatives are relevant to them. She has written about her work in the North Island on suicide prevention and post-vention, with a specific focus on the role whanau play in suicide.

Peta has gained a postgraduate diploma in applied science from Te Kunenga Ki Pūrehuroa Massey University, focusing on advanced mental health nursing, co-existing disorders and family therapy. In 2011, she moved to Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi to complete her Masters in Indigenous studies, which focused on kaupapa Māori theory as an evidence-based practice. 

She has also completed a spring semester at Berkeley University with the Goldman School of Social Policy, where she studied at the faculty of social work specialising in mental health. She then went on to gain her PhD in philosophy of Indigenous studies from Te Whare Wananga O Awanuiarangi.


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