Working with Māori Adults with Acquired Communication Disorders

This course consists of TWO modules. 

You must complete each lesson in sequence before moving on to the next. 

At the end of Module TWO a completion certificate will be available to you to download and print.  

SLTs have a good sense of social consciousness. We do this job because we believe everyone has a right to communicate, and we advocate for people who struggle to advocate for themselves. 

There are many success stories of SLTs working with Māori whānau to provide an accessible and culturally appropriate service. Unfortunately there are also many stories of whānau who received SLT input that was culturally unsafe or did not receive SLT input at all. There are also stories of SLTs struggling without appropriate therapy resources or cultural support. 

In presenting this online professional development module about working with Māori whānau with stroke we acknowledge the good work that is already being done in this area. We encourage all SLTs to reflect on what we are doing well and what we could do better. All SLTs are somewhere along the journey towards providing high quality services for Māori whānau, with some people further along than others. We are all doing some things well and we can all make improvements in some areas.


Author:  Karen Brewer PhD

Ko Tarakeha te maunga My mountain is Tarakeha
Ko Opepe te awa My river is Opepe
Ko Mataatua te waka My ancestral canoe is Mataatua
Ko Whakatōhea, ko Ngaiterangi, ko Pākehā ngā iwi My tribes are Whakatōhea, Ngaiterangi and Pākehā
Ko Ngai Tamahaua, ko Tauwhao 
ngā hapū
My subtribes are Ngai Tamahaua and Tauwhao
Ko Opape te marae My marae is Opape
Ko Karen McLellan toku ingoa takakau My maiden name is Karen McLellan
Ko Karen Brewer toku ingoa My name is Karen Brewer
My career path so far could be described as meandering. My first job was as an immigration officer in the Immigration New Zealand Wellington branch office. That led me to discover speech-language therapy and the MSLTPrac programme at The University of Auckland. Graduating from there in 2008, I accepted a new graduate position at Waikato Hospital. In 2010 I returned to The University of Auckland to study for a PhD, completing a thesis titled “The experiences of Māori with aphasia, their whānau Members and speech-language therapists”. 

Undertaking this kaupapa Māori research project sparked an interest in Māori health, te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the issues facing SLTs and Māori clients. During the PhD study I worked part-time as an SLT for Counties Manukau Home Health Care. Upon completing the PhD in 2014 I was fortunate to be awarded an Eru Pōmare Research Fellowship in Māori Health from the Health Research Council of New Zealand. This provided funding for postdoctoral research, based in Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at The University of Auckland, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. My postdoctoral research project is called “A kaupapa Māori intervention for stroke-related communication disorders”. This work fits well with my current role as Māori Academic representative on the NZSTA Programme Accreditation Committee and my previous role as the Māori and Cultural Development portfolio holder on the NZSTA Board.


Learning Objectives 

  1. SLTs understand the New Zealand context, the implications of te Tiriti o Waitangi and the position of Māori as tangata whenua
  2. SLTs are able to discuss and critique the culture of speech-language therapy and identify power in the position of the SLT
  3. SLTs are equipped to build solid, ongoing relationships with Māori Health colleagues
  4. SLTs are equipped to build excellent relationships with Māori patients and whānau
  5. SLTs have a deeper understanding of patient and whānau experiences and the SLT role in these

You will need: 

  • A Windows or Mac based computer 
  • Broadband Internet connection (DSL, Cable) 
  • A web browser 

Estimated Time:

It is estimated that each module will take approximately 2 hours to complete.  You can go in and out of the modules as much as you like and bookmark your progress.  You will have access to review the course for three months.  


NZSTA Members:  $80.50 (incl gst)

Non-Members:  $115.00 (incl gst) 


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Prices: All prices listed include GST

Membership LevelPrice
NZSTA Member $80.50
Non-members $115.00

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