Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau

Whaia te ao Mäori
Rangahauä te matauranga
Pursue the world of the Mäori
Research the knowledge


Optimising breastfeeding for Māori babies, mothers and their whanau


  • Tino rangatiratanga
  • Kaitiakitanga
  • Manaakitanga
  • Kotahitanga


Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau has been established to support, promote and protect breastfeeding for Māori through the provision of expert advice and support to New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA) Board in the delivery of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, Baby Friendly Community Initiative and related contracts.

Responsibilities and Functions

  • Provide strategic direction in relation to the implementation of the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance Strategic Plan 2016-2022
  • Give guidance and feedback to New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance on strategies to improve Māori breastfeeding rates
  • Develop and implement the Māori Breastfeeding Strategic Plan 2016-2022, which aligns with the NZBA Strategic Plan 2016-2022.  This will include:-

    • translating experiences of Tipuna to lead traditional breastfeeding practices with the overarching purpose of improving outcomes for whanau.
    • identifying strategies that will maximise opportunities for Māori participation within the baby friendly environment

  • Participate in sub-groups, if required, which may include operational support in a consultant capacity
  • Contribute to enhancing the cultural responsiveness of the NZBA partners
  • Provide a support mechanism to the Baby Friendly Advisor, Māori and Māori representatives on the NZBA Board


Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau membership is skills and competency based noting the holistic vision of Māori health.  Members are selected by Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau based on his/her expertise and the perspectives s/he bring from a range of areas including:-

  • Midwifery
  • Lactation
  • Maternal health
  • Child health
  • Leadership
  • Māori providers
  • Whanau ora
  • General Practice/medicine
  • Nutrition/dietetics
  • Consumers

Representation from mana whenua is mandatory.

Members have the capacity to commit to the role and attend meetings.


Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau will appoint a chair from its membership for a two-year term.

The chairperson of Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau will be a Māori member of the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance.


  • At least three time per year
  • Members will receive a standard meeting few set by the NZBA
  • The NZBA Māori Advisor provides support and administration for Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau



Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau will provide quarterly verbal and narrative reports to the Executive Officer and the Board of NZBA.


These terms of reference will be reviewed as at May 2019


Members of Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau as at May 2017

Henare Edwards, Kaumatua

Aroha Reriti-Crofts, CBE, JP, Taua, Mana whenua

Wendy Dallas-Katoa, JP, Research, Whanau ora, PHN

Zoe Tipa, National Advisor Māori Health, Plunket

Beverly Te Huia, Midwife, Lactation Consultant

Amy Wray, Midwife, Lactation Consultant

Vacant, Consumer

Vacant, General Practice/Paediatrics





Henare Edwards - Te Roopu Whakaruruhau

Henare Eruera Ngatote Noa Ritete Pirini Edwards

Henare is the Managing Director of Tuapaerangi Ltd. He is from Te Rarawa, Te Aupori and Ngapuhi iwi from the Far North. He currently holds positions as Chairperson of the Maori Community Leaders Forum Canterbury, Te Whare o Ngapuhi Ki Otautahi and Te Waipounamu, Nga Tai Haruru Waka Ama and Kaiwhakamana Canterbury Prisons.

Henare provides cultural support and advice to a number of organisations through his role as Māori Advisor to Canterbury Police District Commander, New Zealand Police STU and New Zealand Police Area Commanders.

He is a well-respected Kaumatua of Rehua Marae, Te Rangimarie Marae, Taurahere O Waitaha and provides Kaumatua support and advice to a number of health and education bodies including Cashmere High School, Diabetes Christchurch, St Martins Primary School.

Henare has had a close association with the NZBA for a number of years providing Kaumatua support and cultural advice to the organisation. His experience on other national and regional Māori advisory boards was invaluable and guided the initial set up of Te Rōpu Whakaruruhau.

Aroha Reriti-Crofts - Te Roopu Whakaruruhau

Aroha Reriti-Crofts QSM

Taua Aroha was elected National President of the Māori Women's Welfare League in 1990 and was awarded a CBE for her services to Māori and the community in 1993.

Aroha remains an ardent spokeswoman for and member of Te Roopu Wähine Mäori Toko i Te Ora o Otautahi today and always makes sure that the voice of Maori is heard whenever she is present. She is a mother of three, grandmother of eight mokopuna and great grandmother. She is one of Nga Whaea o te Motu, Nga Perehitini for Hei Manaaki Te Mana Wahine Māori (MWDI) and Kaumatua for Te Puawaitanga ki Otautahi Trust. The Trust provides a number of Kaupapa Māori services to Māori whanau among many other roles.

Wendy Dallas-Katoa - Te Roopu Whakaruruhau

Wendy Dallas-Katoa

Wendy is of Waitaha, Kati Mamoe and Ngai Tahu iwi. She is the Program Leader of Health and Social Wellbeing, Toitu te iwi, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.  She is Registered Nurse and has a Diploma in Public Health, Clinical teaching and a health BA from Te Whare Wananga o Raukawa.

Prior to joining Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Wendy worked as the Cultural Advisor/Manager of Maori health, Pegasus Health (IPA), Researcher/ Lecturer at M.I.H.I. (Maori Indigenous Health Institute) University of Otago - Christchurch. She represents Ngai Tahu papatipu runaka on a number of boards including the Community and Public Health and Disability Support Advisory Committee (CPACD), Canterbury DHB board appointed and a board member for Partnership Health (PHO), community advisory board for Pegasus Health and Maori advisory board Canterbury Primary Health Care (PHC), she also is a member of the National Kaitiaki Group, Ministry of Health.

Zoe Tipa

Zoe is of Kai Tahu and Ngati Kahungunu iwi.

She is a registered nurse with a background in aged care and whanau ora nursing.  Zoe has been working for Plunket for 8 years in various leadership roles and is currently Plunket's National Advisor for Māori health.  Zoe has completed a master's thesis on the value of family partnership training as a culturally responsive model working with Māori.

She has a strong interest in developing engaging and culturally responsive communication techniques, which is the focus of her PhD research.

Beverly Te Huia

Beverly is of Ngati Kahungunu and Ngai Tahu descent. 

She is the clinical manager for Kahungunu Health and Community Services.  Beverly is currently implementing "Te Kotahitanga" health model for the Ministry of Health and Regional District Council.  She is also the clinical manager for Kahungunu Health Services and the integration coordinator of the Primary Health Care facility in Hawkes Bay.

Beverly has worked as an independent midwife, antenatal educator, maternal and child manager, in smoking cessation, in developing sexual health education for Kahungunu within a kaupapa Māori framework and as regional community breastfeeding coordinator.

She is a trustee for Kahungunu Health Services and its Māori clinical group and chairperson for Nga Maia.

Amy Wray

I'm a busy mum of five young children, which has given me my best qualification in life!  My mother was my greatest inspiration as she too was a midwife and lactation consultant.

In 2007, I graduated in midwifery and worked as a core midwife, then in 2009 I became a qualified lactation consultant (IBCLC).  During this time I was also the BFHI coordinator for Tairawhiti District Health Board, trained as a New Zealand Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Administrator and ran a breastfeeding drop in centre.  Throughout this time I have also been involved with teaching antenatal classes and breastfeeding education workshops for a range of health providers.  I helped develop and launch our local breastfeeding support programme called Kia Mama in 2010.  I am currently living and working full time in Rotorua as a community lactation consultant and work closely with our Māori providers.

Throughout this time, I have gained experience in each new role.  I have continued to identify a need for more breastfeeding resources that are "user friendly" for health providers and "appealing" for the mother and whanau.  In 2009, I started developing the TALK CARDS.  As a young mother myself, while compiling the TALK CARDS, I have tried to consider what would be appropriate and useful for other mums who are going through the same journey.  Since their development, I have had the opportunity to distribute them on behalf o the Ministry of Health, have travelled to almost every DHB in New Zealand presenting workshops around engaging with Māori more effectively.  It has been a privilege to work at a grass roots level with Māori whanau and have gained so much insight during this time.

I really enjoy working with new mothers and I often feel a responsibility to share the knowledge I have with other mothers, as breastfeeding has life-long effects that can affect a mother-baby relationship for life.  That's why I love doing what I do!

Māori Breastfeeding Strategic Directions 2016 - 2021