He mana tō te mātau ā-wheako 

Our Lived Experience is our strength  

Kia ora e te whānau, welcome to Rākau Roroa - we are delighted you have found us. 

RākauRoroa  is an online training programme created by Changing Minds and led by Lived Experience. Rākau Roroa draws on wisdom from over 20 years of social justice knowledge, consumer movement history and research on ‘what works’ to dismantle prejudice and discrimination and grow compassionate, skilled Lived Experience leadership.  

Once you complete your Rākau Roroa training you'll become a Tall Tree and part of this special community of New Zealanders we colloquially call our “forest”.    Becoming a Tall Tree means you join our grassroots social movement to nurture and amplify the Lived Experience voice.  

The online course covers: 

• Tikanga for safety in sharing Lived Experiences 

• Understanding Prejudice, Self-stigma, and Discrimination  

• Key Messages and why language matters  

• Our rights and the Law  

• Models of wellbeing (not just flourishing)  

• Navigating challenging conversations  

• Power of contact  

• Developing and using your own story     


Becoming a Tall Tree 

The name Rākau Roroa was gifted to us by our kaumātua, George Hill [Ngāti Whātua] and in this context, means “Tall Tree”. Tall Trees are people from all walks of life with experience of mental distress and/or addiction who have completed the Rākau Roroa training programme and learnt how to use their story of mental distress and recovery safely to change attitudes, and most importantly, behaviour.   

Tall Trees in action 

Becoming a Tall Tree will allow you to empower yourself and others, positively influence conversations around mental health in Aotearoa and feel confident to challenge self-stigma, discrimination and prejudice around mental distress. Like a forest working in symbiosis, the reciprocal relationships you form with your fellow Tall Trees will support you to apply your own unique strengths to our collective purpose. 
Tall Trees go on to share their story of Lived Experience and recovery within their whānau/families, communities, workplaces, churches and on marae.   

It is not for us to decide how you apply the knowledge, skills and connections you gain from this course, Rākau Roroa is a taonga we gift to you to own and use in whatever way is most useful to you.  

Join our grassroots movement 

If you are interested in using your Lived Experience and making a positive difference to wellbeing in Aotearoa, we would love to hear from you!  
Just click on the images (right) to learn more about this programme and apply to take part.  
We look forward to walking alongside you on your journey from seedling to Tall Tree - and to you becoming part of our forest!    
The Changing Minds team

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