About this website

Dr Karen Brewer created this website after spending many hours listening to Māori whānau affected by stroke. Many of the suggestions come from those whānau, who were keen to share their experiences to help others. Other ideas on this website have come from speech-language therapists who work with Māori whānau. Dr Matire Harwood and Dr Clare McCann also worked on this project.


Dr Karen Brewer

  • Ko Tarakeha te maunga
  • Ko Opepe te awa
  • Ko Mataatua te waka
  • Ko Whakatōhea, ko Ngaiterangi ngā iwi
  • Ko Ngai Tamahaua, ko Tauwhao ngā hapū
  • Ko Opape te marae
  • Ko Karen McLellan tōku ingoa takakau
  • Ko Karen Brewer tōku ingoa

I am a speech-language therapist and kaupapa Māori researcher. I live in Auckland with my husband and two young sons. I work at The University of Auckland, in the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care.

I hope this website is helpful for you in your journey. If you would like to get in touch, please use the form on the “Contact” page.


Thank you to the following people for assistance in this project:

The stroke survivors and whānau members who contributed to this project. The following asked to be acknowledged by name: Jimmy Huata and Gayle Melrose, Mrs Iraani Paikea and Joanne Stewart, Peter Pirini, Toto Thompson, Debra Andrews, Juliana and Leslie Still, Pere Albert, Petti McLean, Gloria Herbert and Katarina Chapman, Lucy Bagley and Te Urutau (Doreen) Kake, Pa Tony Brown and Irene Brown. We also acknowledge and all the individuals and whānau who preferred to remain anonymous. 

Amohaere Tangitu, Lani Marama and their team at Mai i Ngā Kurī a Whārei ki Tihirau (Bay of Plenty DHB Regional Māori Health Services), Rukingi Haupapa, Ian Kaihe-Wetting and his team at Counties Manukau Health, Ngai Tamahaua hapū, Paiheke McGarvey, Susan Reid and Hinemoa Elder. The speech-language therapists, Stroke Foundation community stroke advisors and managers who contributed to this project. Prof Suzanne Purdy and colleagues in Speech Science and Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at The University of Auckland. Kaiawhina rangahau Te Whaawhai Taki, Waimirirangi Andrews, Te Ami Henare-Toka and Meghann Grawburg. Lois Cameron and the team at Talking Mats in Scotland. Sally Kedge, Felicity Bright and Carol Green.

The New Zealand Speech-language Therapists’ Association and members of He Kete Whanaungatanga. Northland, Counties Manukau and Bay of Plenty District Health Boards. The Stroke Foundation, especially Don Scandrett and Nita Brown. Techpā Studios.


This website is intended to supplement, not replace, the advice of a speech-language therapist. Readers should see a speech-language therapist for individualised assessment and treatment recommendations.


This website is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.


The cartoon pictures are not intended to resemble the people quoted. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.