Vanessa is Manager Day Services at Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington New Zealand. Vanessa has a background in nursing and now leads a diverse work programme including Maori and Pasifika Liaison, volunteers in the home, bereavement coordination, and patient day unit activities. She has developed several innovative programmes in conjunction with Māori health providers around understanding cancer and support, caring for whānau at home and loss and grief. She leads the Hospice’s compassionate communities work.
Vanessa has contributed to national research, publications and professional development material including the Foundations of Spirituality programme with Hospice NZ. She also chairs Te Pou Tautoko the Hospice advisory group and engages with kaumātua, local tribes and Māori health providers through that forum.
Vanessa believes Rongoā Māori (Māori medicine) has an important place for Māori wellbeing and needs to be an option within the health system for all Māori. She is also a director of Four Tides Indigenous Healing and has worked as a Bi-Cultural supervisor in private practise.
Vanessa is Wellington born and of Rongomaiwahine and Ngāti Kahungunu descent. She has two sons and lives in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.
VANESSA AND TAU PRESENTATION
Wairuatanga and Purākau in practise
Vanessa and Tau will share some purākau (creation stories) from the Māori. They will unpack wairuatanga (an implicit binder of history, genealogy, philosophy practice and spirituality).
This will set the scene for how these stories provide solace, inspiration and clarity in order to support their spiritual wellbeing. They will also touch upon the importance of ritual and how it builds the resilience and capability of Māori families.
They will share about their experience of indigenising spaces to better serve Māori people – and believe that this approach, in turn, enriches everyone.