Mahinaarangi Robinson

Ngāti Maniapoto

Mahinaarangi Tuhi-Smith is a programme facilitator who provides mental health and drug rehabilitation opportunities within the community. She supports those who suffer from mental health issues and drug use, helping them to reconnect with themselves, their whānau, culture, and society.

Mahinaarangi is the organiser of the Mauri Tau Rongoā Poutiriao Programme, which helps whānau who are struggling with mental health, addiction, depression, and self-worth issues stemming from their personal and intergenerational experiences of trauma.

This programme also has a branch that focuses on supporting wahine in their recovery from trauma, teaching Te ao Māori-based skills for building a healthy sense of identity and belonging as wahine Māori within society. Participants learn about purakau storytelling, karakia, and traditional Māori medicine practices. They also share knowledge on making pounamu earrings and contemporary korowai to help them engage with and connect to traditional kaupapa.

Mahinaarangi has also organised a community project to reduce suicides among gang members using the ancient Māori tradition of massage. Gang members and whānau have been learning the traditional practices of mirimiri and romiromi massage to help deal with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

She is also the co-director of Kahukura, the Mongrel Mob-run drug rehab programme in Central Hawke’s Bay. Kahukura focuses on getting members off meth and breaking the generational cycle of meth use. According to course directors, about 80% of those who have completed Kahukura remain clean after leaving the eight-week marae-based course. The programme also focuses on building relationships with family and removing violence.

​In 2022, Mahinaarangi and Kahukura Tumu, the director, won an Award Winner at Cutting Edge 2022, held by the Addiction Practitioners Association Aotearoa New Zealand for the Kahukura programme. Mahinaarangi was also a recipient of the Dapaanz Excellence in Peer Support Award.


Inside Kahukura, the Mongrel Mob-led drug rehabilitation programme

Mahinaarangi Tuhi-Smith | The Kahukura Drug Rehab Programme
Gang turns to traditional Māori practice to better mental health
Mauri Tau Rongoā Poutiriao Programme

He Rangatira Our Leaders

Joanne Baxter

Poutini Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō

In 2022, Joanne was appointed the first wāhine Māori Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine. Working for over 20 years in the Dunedin School of Medicine, Joanne has shown that she is committed to making a real difference in education and health for individuals, whānau and communities through teaching, research, and service.

Louise Leonard

Ngā Puhi

Passionate about mental health and addiction nursing and the role of Nurse Practitioners, Louise believes in making a difference in the lives of tangata whaiora and whanau who face substance-related harm and co-occurring mental and physical health challenges.

Te Oranoa Matthews

Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri

As an aspiring Māori Health practitioner, she is on the path to becoming a future Māori health leader.

Danielle McEachen

Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu

Danielle works with key stakeholders to create opportunities for Māori with lived experience to initiate and lead change at local, regional, and national levels.