We are a collective of Māori oral health experts who provide evidence-based advice and strategic direction to relevant organisations on improving the oral health sector and advancing Māori oral health.
The rōpu is chaired by our tumuaki Dr Justin Wall BDS (Otago), DPH (Otago), Dip.Clin.Dent (Otago) and comprises representation, both clinical and non-clinical, from Māori Oral Health Providers from across the motu.
Te Hiku Hauora Hauora (Kaitaia)
Raukura Hauora o Tainui (Hamilton and South Auckland),
Tipu Ora (Rotorua)
Te Manu Toroa (Tauranga)
Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga, Te Matua a Māui (Hawke's Bay)
Ora Toa, Whanganui a Tara (Wellington)
Who are we
Our workforce comprises dentists, dental therapists, dental assistants, oral health promoters and educators, and utilises final year Bachelor of Dentistry students through a community- based outplacement programme
Dr Justin Wall
Dr Justin Wall (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri) is a practising dentist with a private practice in Ashburton. He is the current tumuaki of Te Rōpu Niho Ora. I have been providing oral health expertise to the Ministry of Health since the 1990s, have expertise in models for the delivery of oral health care to indigenous people and played a key role in the development of the Māori oral health sector. I chaired the Māori Oral Health Quality Improvement Group from 2015-2023. In 2023, I lead the organisation through a rebranding process and establishment as a charitable trust - Te Rōpu Hauora Māori a Niho o Aotearoa Incorporated. I represent TrNO on a number of national oral health groups. I have a DipClinDent in Oral Medicine, and a Diploma in Public Health with an interest in health economics, service development and modelling.
Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga
Dr Tina Godbert is a Dentist at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga at Hastings. I was raised in Te Tai Tokerau, my whānau lives in Kerikeri but I am based in Ahuriri with my husband and son. My role at Te Taiwhenua was initially assisting in developing an Oranga Niho service beside Taiwhenua’s GP and other social services. This was a nationally funded pilot project which had come to fruition after many years of advocacy, thanks to those who came before me. This position was a dream come true; to set up a practice with the ability to provide subsidised dental care at affordable prices and work within a team with a dental therapist and oral health educator. Working for Taiwhenua opened my eyes further to the extent of inequities in oral health in NZ and some of the historic and wider social reasons for the disparity. After working with Te Taiwhenua for 23 years I really appreciate the opportunity it has given me to grow my knowledge of Te Ao Maori. I still enjoy every day working with our team and our whanau; the clinical challenges, the people challenges and get real satisfaction from making dental care as comfortable and acceptable as possible to our whānau patients. At New Zealand Dental Association local branch I have held the position of president, I strongly believe in the benefit of meeting regularly with colleagues and the role of local branches. I was part of a committee ‘Choose Water Hawkes Bay’ lobbying councils and schools to be water only or sugar sweetened beverage free. I am also a member of Te Ao Mārama - The Aotearoa Māori Dental Association, which I find a source of inspiration both practical and political.
Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga
Rachel Pere is the Dental Team Leader at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga at Hastings.
Te Mana Toroa
Barbara Laing , is a Registered Dental Therapist with Te Manu Toroa in Tauranga, a position she has held since 2010. I attended both Turua Primary School in the Hauraki Plains and Turakina Maori Girls Colege in Marton in the 70’s. I graduated as a School Dental Nurse in 1978. Up to 2009 I have treated thousands of tamariki in Kaingaroa Forest, Murupara, Tawhiuau, Galatea, Minginui Forest and Ruatahuna kura. I now work with tamariki in kura from Matakana Island, Matapihi, Otepou, Maketu, Te Wharekura O Tauranga Moana, Merivale and Te Matai. I am a mother to three boys and nanny to three grandsons.
Whānau Care Group Manager
Te Mana Toroa
Teresa Nepia (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Pūkenga) is currently the Whānau Care Group Manager at Te Manu Toroa in Tauranga and has a strong vested interest in Hauora Māori, improving health outcomes for whānau. I te taha o tōku pāpā, Ko Mauao ko Puwhenua ngā maunga, ko Kopurererua te awa, ko Waikareao te waitai, ko Ngāti Ranginui te Iwi, ko Ngāi Tamarāwaho te hapū, ko Huria te marae, heoi he uri anō hoki no te Moutere o Matakana me Whareroa. I te taha o tōku whaea ko Kopukairoa te maunga, Ko Waitao te awa, ko Tauranga te moana, ko Ngāti Pūkenga te Iwi, ko Ngā Potiki te hapū ko Whetū o te Rangi te Marae. I tipu ake au ki Tauranga Moana i te ahuru mowai o Ngāi Tamarāwaho no reira tēna koutou katoa. First and foremost I am a māmā to a beautiful 27 year old daughter who is my inspiration and drive for seeking health equity for our whānau and our future generations to come. I have worked in the field of Māori Health for the past 16 years, starting my journey at Huria Trust, a Marae based, hapū led Health and Social Care provider before shifting to Te Manu Toroa where I am the Whānau Care Group Manager overseeing the Mental Health and Addictions Department, Social Services, Whānau Ora Services, our Te Whare Oranga Clinic and the Dental Department. I have a Social Work background, however I have had the privilege within my career to work across a number of different fields including project management, tourism, education and management. I am a Board Member of Huria Trust and a Director of Te Mahi a Nuku Limited Partnership. My passion has and will continue to be the provision of exceptional health and wellbeing services for our people. I have a Bachelor of Social Work, Diploma Social Work, Diploma Te Reo Māori – Te Pōkairua I Te Reo Māori, Diploma Kaiwhakaruruhau a Iwi, and Social Work Registration 1536543.
Raukura Hauora O Tainui
Ana Randall (Ngai Takato me Te Aupouri) is the Manager Dental Services at Raukura Hauora O Tainui, which operates a mobile clinic in kura from Hamilton to South Auckland. He Uri au no Ngai Takato me Te Aupouri. Ko Matariki Hobson tooku Pāpā. Ko Erana Hotere tooku Māmā. Ko Ana Randall tooku ingoa. He kaimahi ahau mo Raukura Hauora O Tainui ki te wahanga a Niho Taniwha. E hara taku toa, I te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini - My success is not mine alone, but it is the strength of many. I am privileged to be working for Raukura Hauora O Tainui, an Iwi-based Not for Profit organisation, established to serve the people, committed to providing community-based services and focusing on all aspects of general health and well-being. Our organisation aims to provide our communities with a highly qualified Maori dental workforce and to achieve this we continue to develop effective strategic relationships within our Kura Kaupapa, our communities and our stakeholders. These valuable relationships are vital to the advancement of one of our goals; our obligation to promote health and health care to our whānau through academic and professional leadership. My journey within the dental waka began in 2008 and I attained a Graduate Diploma in Not for Profit Management in 2013.
Dr. Margaret Clark (Ngāti Awa) is a registered dentist working at Ora Toa PHO, Porirua and Novo Smiles in Wellington City. Margaret has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Otago in Ōtepoti. Outside of clinic Margaret is an executive member of Te Ao Mārama - The Aotearoa Māori Dental Association, and the NZDA Wellington Commitee. Margaret has worked to improve access for vulnerable groups including diabetics, hapū māmā, and low-income adults through a series of grants and community projects, this mahi was recognised with Margaret being awarded the 20Twenties Young Alumni Award in 2022. Margaret's passion lies in improving oral health outcomes for Māori, hei oranga niho mo te iwi Māori. Her favourite part of working for Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira is the amazing team and support she works alongside. The service is an awesome collaborative environment where health professionals from all disciplines get to come together and provide comprehensive care to our whānau. One important aspect of Margaret's role is the integration of Oral Health into the Primary Health Sector. Dentistry is often pushed aside as being too scary, or too expensive, but by working in this clinic and providing low-cost and accessible care for people that otherwise may avoid seeing a dentist, it makes a world of difference.
Raewyn is the practice manager of Ora Toa Cannons Creek Medical & Dental Centre, a position she has held since April 2023. She has worked in primary health care for 20+ years, the last 12 years as practice manager of a GP owned practice in the Eastern suburbs of Wellington. The extensive range of health care provided under the korowai of Ora Toa Health Services, which includes the dental service, provides a unique opportunity to ensure patients have consistent care and treatment for all their health needs and this is what attracted Raewyn to this role. She is looking forward to learning more about oral health services and the positive impact accessibility to treatment can have on patient wellbeing.
Raewyn Bourne is the Executive Manager at Tipu Ora Charitable Trust, a position she has held since 2002.
Te Hiku Hauora
Cheryl Britton (He uri no Muriwhenua, Te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu) is the General Manager Medical and Dental at Te Hiku Hauora in Kaitaia, having worked there for 17 years as both HR/QA Facilitator and Practice Manager. Cheryl graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Law and Māori Studies from the University of Auckland in 1993 and a Master's Degree with Distinction in Law from the University of Waikato in 2000. Cheryl is is committed to health service provision and improving health outcomes for whanau, particularly in the the Te Hiku rohe. She is an experienced Manager skilled in Strategic Planning, Financial Management, Team Building, and Human Resources. She also has a strong consulting background.
Dr Virginia Signal is a Public Health researcher, with a strong interest in Māori health and equity, and provides the secretariat services to TRNO. I am Pakeha in whakapapa but have a worldview that has been shaped by te ao Māori throughout my life. I trained as a nurse from 1984-86 when Irihapeti Ramsden and Cultural Safety in Nursing Education was beginning to impact. My views on inequity and the role health professionals and health systems can play in equity were cemented throughout the time I spent nursing in the USA in the 1990’s. Since moving out of clinical nursing practice I have carried that worldview with me and today remain driven by both my aspirations for a fair and just society and my obligations as tangata Tiriti. I have a long working relationship with TrNO, having provided their secretariat and project management services since 2010. I graduated with a PhD in Public Health in 2016 that investigated the effect of ethnicity and/or comorbidity on the stomach cancer treatment pathway and survival and have expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. I am regularly named on research grants that are Māori-led and Māori-focused. I graduated as a registered nurse in 1987 and worked mainly in oncology services until 1998. I have since worked as a health promotion coordinator for the Cancer Society and held a number of independent contractor roles in policy, research and evaluation. Since 2010 I have worked for the University of Otago, Wellington within both the Cancer and Chronic Conditions Research Group and Health, Environment & Infection Research Unit. In 2019, I also held a secondment as Senior Advisor to Te Aho o te Kahu: NZ Cancer Control Agency. Relevant links - https://www.otago.ac.nz/wellington/departments/publichealth/staff/otago024941.ht
Kelly Richards provides strategic oral health support and advice to TrNO. Ko Kelly Richards taku ingoa. Nō Ahuriri ahau. Nō Ireland ōku tūpuna. I whānau mai au ki Ahuriri. Kei Te Whatu Ora Te Matua a Māui ahau e mahi. I am an accomplished strategic advisor, and bring skills as a creative thinker, public policy development and executing high-impact strategies. I have led a number of projects for Te Whatu Ora, local Councils, and Māori hauora providers. I am a passionate advocate for oral health improvement for Māori, this is inspired by my deep understanding of the public health sector. I have spent 15 years implementing transformative strategies within the oral health sector, working in public health since 2005. In 2019 I completed a Master’s degree in Health Science at EIT, Hawke’s Bay. I have played a strategic support role to TrNO since 2020.