Wananga landing Wananga landing
Young alumni

Rachel Panapa

24 July 2023

BSpC He Oranga Tangata (Maori Health and Wellbeing) 2016

Whanau Support Worker at Te Whare Hauora


In her role with mental health organisation Purapura Whetu, Rachel Panapa creates programmes that encourage social and physical participation based on a whanau ora perspective.

It’s a position that enables Rachel to blend the two things she loves most, her organisational skills and working with people.

“I’m honoured to be part of my clients’ journey towards well-being. It's great having a job that will not only grow me as a person, but have a future impact on what I do."

Established in 2002, Purapura Whetu Trust is a kaupapa Maori health, wellbeing and social service provider in Waitaha, Aotearoa (Canterbury, New Zealand). They offer a whanau centred approach to community support work, assisting people of all ages with mental health issues to gain the skills to manage their own lives, maintain wellness and grow in confidence.

Combining clinical, cultural, and community support that embrace the Māori view of wellbeing, their services are provided to all ages at no cost, and continue to grow and expand to meet the needs of whanau.

“We work from a Kaupapa Māori perspective, so we integrate Māori philosophies into our treatment and try to make our clients feel more connected to their Māori side. It’s less clinical than what you get from mainstream mental health organisations.”

Rachel and the team provide regular, ongoing support to people in the Canterbury area in their home and/or the community. They understand that each situation is unique and can tailor the support to each individual.

“At UC I learned skills that I use every day in my job, like organisational skills, communication skills, professionalism and knowledge of physical activity. I walked away from uni being able to implement really strong life skills into my working practice.”

Privacy Preferences

By clicking "Accept All Cookies", you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.