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Meet Maria

Certified Coach, Educator and Mātanga Mahi Wairua

Maria is a descendant of the ancestor Taahinga through her great-great-grandfather Te Para Haimona. Rangikaahu Te Aakau is the whenua of her whakapapa. 

Educating & Coaching


Maria has lead teams, projects and adult education for corporate, public service environments (since 1996) and later in private practice (2008). The professional and personal growth of adults has been central to her work. As a skilled facilitator, life and leadership coach clients have been able to create valuable shifts. 


  • Certified mBIT Coach: Multiple Brain Integration Techniques
    (Head, Heart and Gut) 

  • Certified Coach: International Association of Coaching Institutes

  • Certified Time Line Therapy™ Practitioner

  • Certified Eriksonian Hypnotherapy

  • Certified Trainer & Master Practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)

  • Certified Transforming Communication Instructor

  • Certified Trainer & Facilitator

  • Several business certifications:- project management, process management, return on investment, leadership, digital storytelling, IGNITE 80 Peak Performance. 


Maria is Co-Founder of Wheelhouse Education & Learning. A provider of professional development programmes for health professionals.

"I am always astounded, and yet equally, never surprised at the value indigenous ways can have in helping people improve their wellness, their lives or their situations. I am seeing it time and time again." - Maria.

Mātanga Mahi Wairua

Descended from Māori and an Anglo-Celtic heritage Maria has appreciated the discovery of her whakapapa and ancestry. She greatly acknowledges her tūpuna and the world views they offer her. 

Maria's kuia (grandmother) was gifted in traditional healing ways. People would travel distances to seek her help. Today, the threads of her capabilities weave to many descendants, with several working in 'helping and healing' fields of work. Maria recalls her own earliest experience with wairua as a pre-schooler, though it wasn't until her mid-20's that she acknowledged these qualities. At which point she began a quiet lifelong walk to keep listening; collecting knowledge, and applying to work, life and private practice.    

Matauranga Māori

  • 2022-2023 Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge. 'Kairongōa and Mātanga Mahi Wairua'.Research area

  • 2023 Produced, 'Te Ora ō Ngā Tūpuna: The Echo of Ancestors'  docuseries capturing the insights and learning journeys of six Māori wāhine who support their communities to improve their health, wellbeing, or life circumstances through their relationship with wairua, tūpuna, and tohu.

  • 2019-2022 Mātanga Mahi Wairua: Tutored for 4-years by respected Tohunga Wiremu Niania and wife Lesley. Co-Author of the book, Collaborative and Indigenous Mental Health Therapy - Tataihono Stories of Māori Healing and Psychiatry

  • 2021 Maramataka: Teachings with Tohunga Rikki Soloman 

  • 2020 Romiromi and Mirimiri: Traditional Māori bodywork teachings with Wikitoria Oman. 

  • 2018 Wairuatanga Wananga

  • 2018 Hauhora Tangata Maori & Global Health Outcomes

  • 2016 International Indigenous Health Symposium, Hawai'i

Other Wellbeing practices

  • 2015 Zhi Neng Qi Gong practitioner: Chi Lei Chi Kung Levels 1 & 2. 

  • Healing light of the TAO: Master Mantak Chia's Universal Tao.

  • 2013 Shamanic journeying of Hopi’sinom (the Hopi people).  

  • 2006 Ho'omana from Hawai'ian teachings.

  • 2004-2009 Meditating with spirit guides. Mentored for 5 years with Rose Goodliffe. Masters of Social Practice including research on her practice as a trained counselor and gifted medium. 

  • Massage Therapy (1996): New Zealand School of Massage

"It has been a privilege to learn Rongoā Māori along with healing traditions of other cultures. Each requires a deep respect and understanding that comes with both gentleness and assertion." - Maria.


Tainui-Waikato, Ngāti Tāhinga, Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Mahanga. 

A note from Maria:


Self-leadership and mauri ora


"There are many roads we travel with stories of significance impacting lives. For some these stories are about future visions, effort, optimism, self-determination and being capable. For others the experiences are about resilience, overcoming illness, facing traumas or living with mental health. Perhaps dealing with the grief of a deceased loved one, or the loss of cultural heritage and identity. The effect of domestic violence or sexual abuse too. Even experiences of financial hardship, family conditions, or simply being in a relationship that no longer serves them.


Having seen people experience insight, growth, and healing over the years reminds me how much inner strength and potential people have to navigate towards what matters most for them. Even in times when feeling the most challenged and restricted in choice. It reminds me to never confine a person or we may never see them truly shine. 

Right now our personal vitality, leadership of self and family, and support of others is more important than ever. A time for turning towards rather than against each other. When we listen deeply into ourselves, and discover we need or desire change, that is recognition it is time to pivot directions. To improve one's situation. Our wairua o te tangata always knows if we are living in alignment." 

Working intuitively 

"Whakapūawai Ora is a practice centred on people first flourishing inwardly, in order to flourish outwardly in areas of life. With my feet planted firmly on the earth,  a connected heart, a deeply guided wairua, a critical thinking brain, and a strong sense of direction, I am here to support your next steps. As a practitioner I utilise a wide variety of skills and knowledge, the wisdoms of my ancestors and Atua, practices and research from eastern mind and body practices, western knowledge, and indigenous healing traditions when working alongside you.   

Feel free to look around the site and reach out when you are ready. 

With gratitude, Maria."

Meet Maria
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