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About Us

About Us

The essence of our name which was gifted to us by iwi, Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga, resonates deeply with our mission:

Hapaito carry

Taumahato be heavy or burdened 


We understand that at times, pregnancy can feel heavy or like a burden. Our aim is to share that load with you and help carry some of that weight, working hand in hand to help you navigate through what can be a stressful time.

Our team of care coordinators are all registered healthcare professionals. Get in touch with us through our 0800 number or leave us a message on the chat. One of our coordinators will reach out to you the same day to set up a convenient meeting time and place. Feel free to bring a support person along if you wish. We also welcome referrals from healthcare and allied professionals.

The care coordinator will spend time with you, understanding the unique challenges you’re facing. We’re here to offer caring, practical support in a way that suits your individual needs, all in a supportive environment.

We work in partnership with you and your whānau (if relevant), evaluating your existing support structures and helping you build new ones where needed. Our care coordinators are here to empower, advocate, and provide support in the areas you need it most.

If necessary, we can assist in finding suitable accommodation and connect with other agencies like midwives, doctors, social workers, mental health services, addiction services, counseling, or guide you to various resources and donations. We’re also here to provide information about adoption, should that be an avenue you are considering. Additionally, we offer care and support for pregnancy loss, including abortion grief.

Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga – Crisis Pregnancy Support has a dedicated team of navigators. Each member has undergone police checks and signed confidentiality agreements. Our navigators assist and support on a community level by offering short-term accommodation, meals, social support, and transportation.

Maternal and Infant Wellbeing – Māmā Me Pēpi Oranga

Maternal and Infant Wellbeing – Māmā me Pēpi Oranga is an integral part of Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga – Crisis Pregnancy Support in Nelson, focusing on the wellbeing of mothers and infants.

Our mission is to make a positive impact on maternal and infant mental health through timely, responsive, and trusting engagement.

We strive to support and strengthen the relationship between māmā, or caregiver, and pēpi beginning already in the pregnancy.

Working alongside māmā, whānau and pēpi we support the development of nurturing, attuned and responsive relationship. This is achieved through our relationship with you and collaboration with other health professionals.

Essentially, we want to support whānau to “keep pēpi’s mind in mind”, both during the pregnancy and after the baby is born.

Founded in Nelson in 2001, Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga – Crisis Pregnancy Support was created to offer women overwhelmed by an unplanned pregnancy access to responsive, caring, practical, professional, and wrap-around support.

Joseph Hassan, a local GP and Cushla Hassan, a nurse, saw a need for the women of the Nelson region to receive care and support in a professional environment, where the unmet needs of women experiencing a crisis pregnancy could be explored.

Cushla and Joseph recognised the many complexities that can make up a crisis, including the impact of social determinants of health on the wellbeing of a woman, her pēpi, and her whānau. They saw the need for a service to provide a “window of time” so that a woman can explore what help is available to her and receive holistic care, making an informed decision about her pregnancy.

While abortion services are easily accessible in New Zealand, Joseph and Cushla noticed a lack of support for women uncertain about their pregnancy or those wanting to continue the pregnancy but seeking coordinated care.

Many women in Nelson faced housing and food security issues, prompting the need for advocacy to meet their basic needs.

Through Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga – Crisis Pregnancy Support, Joseph and Cushla established a team of dedicated healthcare professionals to care for and support women and whānau seeking assistance. For over 21 years, the team has been providing support in the local area, including for those grieving any type of pregnancy loss.

Within Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga – Crisis Pregnancy Support, a focus emerged on maternal and infant health. This led to the development of “Maternal and Infant Wellbeing – Māmā Me Pēpi Oranga,” which includes a maternal and infant mental health nurse. This initiative is committed to being a supportive presence throughout a woman’s pregnancy and beyond, especially during the crucial first 1,000 days, to ensure and optimise nurturing care.

With a growing unease at the support and information available to women facing unplanned pregnancies and seeing the physical and emotional effects on many women, Deborah Murphy, a Lower Hutt midwife, couldn’t get rid of the realisation that we can do better as a country for women in these situations. 

Recognising the immense challenges and emotional toll that pregnancy can bring, especially without sufficient support, Deborah understood the potential for decisions that might lead to later regrets. In January 2021 Deborah travelled to Nelson and connected with Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga – Crisis Pregnancy Support. Dr Joseph and Cushla Hassan had been running this charity for two decades and when Deborah saw it in action, she believed it provided best practice for women with unplanned pregnancies. 

Despite being a busy LMC midwife, Deborah couldn’t turn a blind eye to this situation affecting so many women. 

With an incredible group of health care professionals, Deborah, Joy and Hannah established the Lower Hutt/Wellington Hapai Taumaha Hapūtanga – Crisis Pregnancy Support branch to help women with unplanned pregnancies. Since setting up the service, it has been a privilege to work with wahine and if present their whānau also, offering not only information and expert healthcare, but also a safe space with emotional and practical support.