Puāwaitanga Enrol now
Puāwaitanga means to blossom, to flourish, to break through, and is a phone and web-based service to support Kiwis to improve their emotional wellbeing – their hauora. The service is an alternative to face to face counselling for Kiwis who are struggling but face challenges in accessing traditional counselling. All our staff are trained professionals and counselling sessions are private, confidential and free.

Why Puāwaitanga works

  • Gives time- and resource-poor Kiwis access to professional, confidential counselling
  • Sessions can be held any time between 9.00am – 9.00pm (and outside these times as needed) - Puāwaitanga will ‘move mountains’ to work around your busy lives
  • The taringa (ear) and waha (mouth) on the other end of the phone will be empathetic, culturally sensitive and authentic
  • You can speak to counsellors about any issues, some of which might be low mood, anxiety, grief, addictions, relationship issues and low self-esteem.

How Puāwaitanga works

  • You complete an enrolment questionnaire, choose your counsellor and book an initial appointment, all via the Puāwaitanga patient portal.
  • In your first appointment you will talk with the counsellor about what you would like to achieve, come up with plan on how to achieve these and discuss how many sessions you may need to attend do this.
  • Over the course of the programme the counsellor and you work together to identify strategies to achieve your goals and increase your wellbeing.

How we developed Puāwaitanga

We recognised a need to provide support to those who may have barriers to attending traditional face to face counselling services. We launched a pilot in December 2016 for people living rurally in Canterbury, who after a referral from their GP received up to six free counselling sessions. The pilot was well received; service users like the flexibility, accessibility and anonymity and many experienced positive clinical outcomes from using Puāwaitanga. After its success, we extended Puāwaitanga to the wider Canterbury DHB region.
Current referring organisations include: Canterbury District Health Board, Ministry of Social Development, Auckland University of Technology and The University of Auckland.