Te Rukutia Tongaawhikau

Taranaki, Ngāpuhi

E kore e piri te uku ki te rino - clay will not stick to iron

Te Rukutia holds firm to this whakataukii to transform spaces, places and people, helping reveal their unique potential and claim their moemoeā while always moving towards mauri ora.

She is a qualified Kaitiaki in Professional Bi-cultural Supervision, having developed an indigenous applied practice model and framework, “Tatari Ake,” applying this model in leadership, relationships, and strategic thinking.

Te Rukutia has continued progressing with the aspirations of kaitiakitanga and bi-cultural professional supervision alongside Te Waananga o Aotearoa since 2020. Te Rukutia will also be chairing the Kaitiakitanga supervision stream and panel korero at Cutting Edge on behalf of DAPAANZ to progress these aspirations.

Te Rukutia is the General Manager Hapori for Raukura Hauora o Tainui, managing the community-based services across ngā rohe o Tainui. This includes Rongoa Maaori, whaanau ora, community health, Addiction (AoD and Gambling) and Mental Health practitioners, peer support and kaiārahi mobilising to support our whānau realise their potential and claim their tino rangatiratanga.

She previously held roles with PGF Group formerly (The Problem Gambling Foundation) as the Northern regional clinical services and national public health lead while holding the dedicated portfolio of Kaiwhakarite to deliver integrated mana-enhancing and protective services for tāngata whaiora across Aotearoa. Her work is focused on improving well-being by preventing and reducing gambling harm for all whānau.

Te Rukutia is a māmā of two girls working full time focused on equity and better outcomes for our people. She volunteers time and energy to all things māori alongside her girls and whānau and has had the privilege to be part of the kapa haka roopu that performed Te Matatini.  The kaupapa Te Rukutia has contributed towards includes co-writing Mana Enhancing Service: A Fresh Approach to Clinical Practice, is a board member of The Health Promotion Forum of NZ, has presented for numerous kaupapa Maaori frameworks, kaitiakitanga and Mana Enhancing practice at multiple Cutting Edge conferences, Addiction Leadership conferences, Te Rau Ora Patikitiki Maaori frameworks symposium to name a few. Te Rukutia has been involved with the Gambling Harm minimisation sector; they have provided insights into local news articles, radio interviews, public policy and research projects.

Te Rukutia has supported tāngata Whaiora towards mauri ora, reconnecting to whānau and culture since 2002. She is active in her Hapū, from grassroots to seeking redress from the Crown. She has also contributed to establishing integrated kaupapa Māori trauma-informed interventions for women and youth service “Te Mana Wāhine – The Unique Power of Women” for the Department of Corrections NZ, receiving the Silver Award for her contributions.


Te Rukutia Tongaawhikau | Public Health lead at PGF Group (Problem Gambling Foundation)

PGF Services National

CDS Press - Mana enhancing service: A fresh approach to clinical practice

·        Huia Tāngata Kōtahi – Unite the People Wānanga Series 2023

He Rangatira Our Leaders

Dr Candy Louise Ramarihi Hera Cookson-Cox

Ngāti Rangiteaorere, Ngāti Uenukukopako, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Ngāi Tahu

Dr Candy Louise Ramarihi Hera Cookson-Cox has been my mentor, colleague and friend for over twenty years, the first Māori nurse to gain a doctorate in education, a rarity in the early 2000’s

Tuhakia Keepa

Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Ruanui

Tuhakia is committed to supporting initiatives engaged in developing Māori communities with a passion for health, building the workforce, and sharing the value of Te Ao Māori.
A competent psychiatrist with a moko kauae, fluent in te reo Māori, who can sit and play the guitar and tell really good stories.

Dr Hinemoa Elder

Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Ngāpuhi

She attributes her success to ‘hard work, determination, and being able to draw from her Māori heritage, synthesising meaning from an indigenous perspective’.