DR. DIANA KOPUA
Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Horouta te waka
Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi
Ko Rahui te marae
In 1990, Diana began her journey in the health industry, training first as a nurse and in 2014, she completed her specialist training in psychiatry and is a Fellow of the Royal Australia New Zealand College of Psychiatry. In 2010, Diana was awarded the prestigious Ngarimu VC Manakura Award. It is awarded to those who display characteristics of the 28th Māori Battalion; strength of character, ambition, courage, and original thought. Diana carried these characteristics to the Tairāwhiti in 2014 where she became the first Ngāti Porou psychiatrist. In 2020, Diana was awarded the Dr Maarie Goodall Award in recognition for her dedication to and work in Māori Mental Health.
Diana is changing the system by preferencing Indigenous approaches to orangatanga. As the developer of Mahi a Atua, she and her husband, Tohunga Mark Kopua, use Māori creation stories and pūrākau to transform mental health frameworks, providing an affirmation of our amazing genealogy and validation for our resilience. Diana and Mark are teaching communities of practice an alternative to the Western model, using a culturally sensitive new therapy to address mental distress and suffering amongst Māori. The Mahi a Atua approach has been utilised by multiple practitioners across various sectors within New Zealand society, including art, health, education, justice, and the social services sector. Both Diana and Mark are committed to indigenising their respective communities of practice and are pioneers within their fields.
Abstract: Te Kurahuna - Mahi a Atua is the deployment of Mātauranga Māori, Pūrākau, Feedback Informed Treatment and associated techniques and knowledge that support this paradigm shift
As the founder and Manukura of Te Kurahuna: Mahi a Atua, Diana will share Te Kurahuna’s vision, strategy and outcomes as they expand to create social impact.
The point of difference for Te Kurahuna is ‘pūrakau.’ This trademark is woven into Te Kurahuna - Mahi a Atua strategy creating new opportunities with iwi Māori and communities to reconceptualise distress, confidently design and implement frameworks and strategies that affirm Māori whakapapa and achieve whānau ora.
Te Kurahuna Co-Manukura Tohunga Mark Kopua will discuss the significant change that occurred in both Te Tairawhiti and Hauraki through the implementation of Mahi-a-Atua. The solution was big and it needed to be with a deliberate purpose to revolutionise the system. It took courage, space and time. Time to delve deeper, look harder and support communities to bring together both clinical and cultural expertise. While many stayed working with certitude, in ways that were familiar about what change would mean to them, a group of Mataora (change agents) forged ahead.
Listen more about Diana and Mark's work here.