Takahi te Taniwha

Are you ready to take up the challenge?

Are you ready to take up the challenge?

Takahi te Taniwha is our invitation to you to consider making a change in your life. It is time for our wāhine and tāne to reclaim the mana of our tipuna and reject the negative influence of alcohol and drugs in our lives.

The Takahi Te Taniwha program utilises māori models of wellbeing, harm reduction planning, pūrākau, whākapapa, change and motivation, connection and boundaries, psycho-education, process therapy, applied cognitive behavioural therapy and Te Ao Māori. This program is designed for whaiora looking at a harm reduction approach to work towards a goal of abstinence.

If you are interested in looking at reducing the negative impacts drugs and alcohol is having on your life, the first step would be at looking at making a self referral to find out what support we can offer, or to go along to one our the free open support groups in the community. We have also included links below to the resources and support He Waka Tapu and our community can provide.

Our Whakataukī


Kua takoto te manuka.

The leaves of the Manuka tree have been laid down. The challenge has been set.

Māori have always persevered in the face of great adversity. When alcohol and drugs entered into our whākapapa it became a normalised approach to coping with our stressful lives. Today we are facing the negative impact of alcohol and other drugs upon our whānau more than ever. How do we implement positive change to protect the future of our whākapapa? How will you respond to this challenge?


Kua takoto te mānuka.

The leaves of the mānuka tree have been laid down. The challenge has been set.

We have used whakatauki to gently challenge ourselves and our whanau to continue to develop awareness and understanding of the impact that substance abuse may have within our own lives, and to plant seeds around to the possibility of reducing the negative impact it can have on our whanau, hapu, iwi and wider community.


He waka e ka noa.

A waka we are all in on a journey of discovery. One heartbeat, one waka.

These words are from a chant called ”Te Whanautaka o te Aoraki” about Kai Tahu creation stories.This waka represents a metaphorical vehicle of change that can help transform someone from one state of being or pattern of behaviours to another. A waka we are all in on a journey of discovery.

Who is in your waka? What direction are you heading? How are you going to reduce the harm within your whanau caused by alcohol and drugs?


Aroha ki te tāngata

Goodwill and love towards others is a precious treasure, and love people, in spite of who they are.

In the context of substance misuse these whakataukī become pertinent as whānau can be emotionally torn between love for their whānau members with substance misuse issues.

Many refer to the word “aroha” as love. A different interpretation of “aroha” could then mean to focus our essence into the things we care for or to develop further awareness of the impact of our presence on others.


Me mahi tahi tātou mo te oranga o te whānau

Our whakatauaki me mahi tahi tatou mo te oranga o te whanau, is a call to kaimahi who join us in the mahi to assist whanau to reach their full potential.

It is also a wero to whanau, especially nga tane, to look at what they do to promote healthy respectful relations within their whanau, and how they whakamana others: nga wahine and nga tamariki to achieve their potential.

This is what we ask our kaimahi to do when they come on board our waka, that they tautoko whanau who access our services but also they live this kaupapa in their personal lives as well.

Working together is the key to ensuring that we can all achieve the moemoea of healthy, respectful, non-abusive whanau.


He kākano koe i ruia mai i Rangi ātea kia kāhore kore e ngaro

You are the seed sown from the highest heavens, that you may not be lost.

You will always be connected to your ancestral heritage and therefore you can never be lost. Can you reduce the harm of substance use for the seed that is yet to be sown?

Open Community Groups

He Waka Tapu offers a range of open community groups, which look at your holistic health as a means for reducing drugs and alcohol in your life. Feel free to go along to any of the following and take time to find a group that suits you. To find out more and to find out timetable, click the link to our open community group page.


Lived Experience


Toni’s Journey: He taura harakeke, kakukumea a tona wa ka whati.

When Toni had lost everything, hear how she realised she had to find and accept herself and through the mana of her korowhai, she is able to have the relationships that she does today.


Matiu’s Journey: Ruruia ngā kākano o te aroha o te atawhai o te whānau.

Hear Matiu’s journey through addiction - back to loving and accepting himself.

Sow the seeds of love, mercy and family. And when you’re tired, God will grow a tree for you to rest under.


Mark’s Journey: Kua takoto te manuka.

Listen to Mark’s journey through addiction and disconnection to continuing to challenge himself to make the right next choices for him and his tamariki.


Maria’s Journey: Kia whākapono koe ki tou aka kaupapa kia tutuki pai.

Believe in yourself and you will succeed in your ventre. Maria has challenged herself - has learned to believe in herself again.


Huata’s Journey: He kākano koe I ruia mai I Rangi Atea.

You are a seed sown from the highest heavens, that you may never be lost.

Hear Huata’s discovery of who he is and where he has come from. What’s under your hood?

© 2023 He Waka Tapu

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