Your Instructors, Teaching Team and Art Community

We are excited to bring innovation and creativity to a wider community, locally, regionally, nationally and now internationally. Te Kurahuna community spans a multitude of community spaces. A wide range of Mataora are stakeholders in your success in learning about Mahi a Atua. As a learner, you’ll interact with:

Puna Matatau / Instructors

Te Kurahuna Ltd is a collaborative partnership between husband and wife – Mark and Dr Diana Kopua who are experts in their respective fields. Mark and Dr Di are co-founders and co-directors of Te Kurahuna Ltd.

Puna Mohio / Teaching Team

Receive support from a team of Mataora with Mahi a Atua facilitation expertise. These experienced practitioners are present to guide discussion, foster peer connection and provide feedback on your assignments.

Puna Toi / Art Community

Be inspired by our Mahi a Atua art community who can help expand your creative thinking. During wānanga our moko artists, romi romi practitioners, performing artists, poets, story tellers and creative thinkers will be available to engage with.

Meet our Team

Mark Kopua

Mark was raised in Mangatuna, by his old people and is considered a historian by his East Coast tribes of the North Island in New Zealand; Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngāti Ira and Ngāti Porou. He was the master carver for several meeting houses both on the East Coast as well as in the lower North Island. He and a small group of moko artists are responsible for the reinstatement of moko into New Zealand society.  Mark has been employed in many national and international roles and one unique role has been to provenance artefacts. For many years he was a board member of the national Māori art advocacy, Toi Māori. He has trained several moko artists and continues to work as a moko artist and design consultant in addition to holding the position as a co-director for Te Kurahuna. He is a confident facilitator of whānau hui and his approach to healing is celebrated by communities as he embraces his unique skills as a storyteller and keeper of ancient Māori knowledge and whakapapa.  

Bronwyn Williams

Bronwyn comes from a small village Waihirere in the heart of Te Aitanga a Mahaki. 

Her journey with Te Kurahuna began in 2016 while working as a Mataora for Te Hiringa Matua, a kaupapa Maori pregnancy and parenting service. Bronwyn then went on to work at Te Kuwatawata ki Turanganui a Kiwa as a Mataora. Both services are founded on the principles of Mahi a Atua.

Bronwyn’s journey into mirimiri began in 1998 when she undertook a study in therapeutic massage, then in 2010 she came under the training of Mate Tihema from Waiohau who she met during training with Te Korowai Aroha o Aotearoa in Tamaki Makaurau.

On return to Te Tairāwhiti Bronwyn continued to practice mirimiri alongside Hinetera Jones and also achieved a BA in Maori contemporary art through the prestigious Toihoukura.

Hinemoa Jones

Whāia te iti kahurangi, ki te tūoho koe me he maunga teitei.

Hinemoa is of Māori (Te Arawa, Tainui) and Pākehā descent. She is a story teller, an educator of Māori language and a facilitator of the traditions of the whare tapere: i.e: Māori games, raranga, karetao (Māori puppetry). Hinemoa has worked alongside James Webster in the revival process of Karetao Māori and has performed in karetao performances both nationally and internationally.

Hinemoa is an active advocate and fluent speaker of te reo Māori. She has taught Māori language programs under the mantle of Te Wānangao Aotearo and Te Whare Tāhuhu Kōrero o Hauraki as well as teaching night classes in Colville, north Coromandel.

Hinemoa has also worked as an art teacher and is passionate about delivering Māori kaupapa in exciting and innovative ways. She has facilitated and led workshops on a variety of Māori arts. Her goal is to help others connect with their taha Māori through relationship and experiences with taonga tuku iho.

Kassidy Pupuo

Ko Aoraki me Orowhana ngā Maunga
Ko Waitaki me Rangiheke ngā Awa
Ko Takitimu, Uruāo  me Ngātokimatawhāorua ngā Waka
Ko Kāitahu whānui me Ngā Puhi nui tonu ngā Iwi
Ko Kāi Te Ruahikihiki, Kāti Māmoe, Te Pahi me Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa ngā Hapū.

Kass was raised in Otepoti- Te Waipounamu. Educated within Te Aho Matua at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori ō Ōtepoti under the tutelage of Ngāi Tūhoe Tohunga Ringatū Pāpā Te Rangi Wilson, Koro Hatarei Temo and Whāea Luckie Herewini, Whāea Hinekura Lawson-Candaleria and the wider Hāpori.

Kass started Māori Studies at Te Whare Wānaka ō Otakou at the age of 16 and by 19 her journey lead her into Tourism and Marketing. Kass is now residing in Brisbane, Australia and after working 6 years in the Sales and Marketing Industry found herself on Maternity leave with her 3rd pēpi reflecting on her passion for Te Ao Māori and how she could re-indigenise her space and way of living for her whānau, in June 2021 Kass became apart of the Te Kurahuna Team and fell in love with the Mahi a Atua way of being!

Rikki Solomon

Rikki Solomon is from the tribes of Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Kahu ki Whangaroa. With over 20 years' experience working in the funeral industry as an embalmer and funeral director, Rikki has recently opened his own business.

Rikki holds a National Certificate in Embalming and He Waka Hiringa: Masters Degree in Applied Indigenous Knowledge from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. He is currently working on his Doctorate of Indigenous Development and Advancement at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi. His focus is on Nga Kitenga o te Maramataka: Insights into the Maramamataka (Māori Moon Calendar) and its relation to Whakamomori (Suicide).

James Webster

My tribal affiliations are Tainui, (Ngati Apakura, Ngati Mahuta) Te Arawa (Ngati Pikiao) and Pākeha (Webster Clan). I am based in Kapanga, Coromandel Town. I am the owner, operator of Tahaa, Tāmoko Studio and Māori Arts.

I have been working in the arts industry for over 25 years as a freelance multi-disciplined artist specialising in sculpture and working in the fields of carving (bone, stone and wood), painting, mixed-media creations and Public works. 

I work as a Tāmoko (Māori tattoo) artist and a maker/player/performer of Taonga Pūoro (Māori musical instruments). Of the past ten years I have been involved in the revival, making and performing with karetao (Māori puppetry).

Khadine Topia

Ōmarumutu rāua ko Taiao ōku Marae 
Ngati Ruatakena rāua ko Kainga Mataa ōku hapū
Te Whakatōhea rāua ko Te Aupouri ōku Iwi
Khadine Topia tōku ingoa 

Khadine was raised in the wild west of Auckland, Henderson/Massey/Ranui and has now settle in Pare Hauraki.  Khadine is a logistician and tempo by nature, capable of applying a practical logic to all aspects of my mahi, perusing accuracy, patience and integrity. Deliberate and conscious application of Whānau Ora and  Mahi a Atua principles into all areas of life. 

Driven to ensure re-wiring of mindsets where necessary. Tirelessly dedicated to a high standard of professionalism whilst being passionate about positive systemic change for all iwi Māori, returning us to mana motuhake through collectively developing processes and policies that address institutional racism and Māori equity at a corporate level. 

"I fell in love with the Mahi a Atua “way of being” and can distinctly see the immense benefits for whānau, hapū and iwi"

Poutu Puketapu

Ko Te Pae o Hauraki te marae
Ko Ngati Maru te Iwi
Ko Te Paerauta rāua ko Te Matahi o te Tau ngā marae
Ko Te Whānau-a-Te-Ao-Pare rāua ko Te Whānau-a-Hunaara
Ko Kawakawa-Mai-Tawhiti te haukaenga
Ko Waipapa te marae
Ko Ngati Hikairo te iwi
Ko Tainui te waka

Poutu Puketapu graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Toihoukura in 2014 and began his journey as a moko artist under the guidance of Tohunga Mark Kopua. Under Mark's teachings he was fortunate to join the first Mahi-a-Atua wānanga in 2015, which later progressed to become Te Whare Wānanga o Te Kurahuna.

Shelley Mitchell

Ko Hikurangi me Maungahaumia oku Maunga 

Ko Waiapu me Waipaoa oku awa 

Ko Putaanga me Mangatu oku Marae 

Ko Ngati Porou me Te Aitanga a Mahaki oku Iwi 

Ko Shelley ahau. 

This blaze genius is a very much a people person with strengths in leadership and connection. This gave Shell the edge to her role as a Matataki for Te Kūwatawata ki Turanga. Her pursuits for a B.A in psychology does not override the fact that this wahine just loves to get out there and make a difference for people, through people with fun and variety. 

Pani Hokianga

Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Ngāti Pāhauwera te iwi
Ko Tawhirirangi te maunga
Ko Mohaka te awa
Ko Mohaka te pā
Ko Pani Hokianga toku ingoa

Pani was raised in Levin and now reside in Brisbane, Australia. With more than 20 years experience working in I.T. along side 10 years working as a Mental Health and Disability Co-ordinator Pani journey has led him to Mahi a Atua, Te Kurahuna.

"Been born and raised as an active practitioner of Mirimiri, Romiromi and Komiri, I love the all facets of Te Ao Māori and felt a natural draw to Mahi a Atua philosophies and practices. I feel AIO to be part of this team"

Dr Diana Kopua

Diana is of Ngāti Porou descent although raised in Porirua under the umbrella of Ngāti Toa.  In 1990 Diana began her journey in the health industry, training first as a nurse.  Diana developed Mahi a Atua in the mid-90s and then in 2002 studied medicine at the University of Otago. In 2014 she completed her specialist training in psychiatry and is a Fellow of the Royal Australia New Zealand College of Psychiatry. Mahi a Atua was embedded into several services and it became the philosophy behind the ground-breaking Te Kūwatawata service and Te Hiringa Matua (a parenting and pregnancy service working with families struggling with addictions). These services aim to address institutional constraints that impact negatively on Māori.  Diana was the Clinical Lead for both these services in their inception and development. Diana continues to lead change through her collaboration with her husband Mark Kopua and together they are growing a collective of Mataora (change agents who are trained in Mahi a Atua) who work to indigenise their respective communities of practice. 

 

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