Ruruku - 26 July 2023

on 10 August

26 July 2023

News & Updates


  • Message from Chief Executives

  • Reflection on One Year of Localities

  • Healthline Advertising Underway

  • Stakeholder virtual hui - 2 August, 2.30pm

  • Free Cervical Screening Services

  • First steps in transformation of maternity and early years services

  • Pelvic Mesh Service Underway

  • Andrea Colby - 30 years a Cardiac Nurse

  • World Hepatitis Day 28 July 2023

  • Te Aka Whai Ora welcomes new Board Appointments

  • Te Whatu Ora welcomes new Board Chair - Dame Dr Karen Poutasi

  • Hiwa-i-te-rangi Māori Health Leadership Scholarship applications open

Message from Chief Executives

Mānawatia a Matariki e ngā ringawera o te motu,


We would like to make a special acknowledgement of those first responders – St Johns, emergency department and acute care staff, who were among the many teams involved in last week’s shootings in Auckland. In those early hours, as the incident is unfolding, through to the recovery for people affected, our teams step up to support patients and their whānau every time. Our communities are grateful.


As winter continues, we encourage you to take care of yourselves, stay at home if you’re sick, wear masks in crowded places and to be aware of the many different types of health care available.


In this pānui, you can read more about the information healthline provides and you can hear from staff and service users.


We have a number of developments underway, such the start of the national data platform work, connecting our many datasets. This platform will give a clearer view of healthcare demand, performance and outcomes. We look forward to sharing more information about this in the coming months.


We are excited to introduce our new Te Aka Whai Ora Board members, Kim Ngarimu, Ben Dalton and Helmut Modlik, who bring extensive knowledge and a firm focus on pae ora – good health for our whānau, our communities, and our health sector workers.  Also, a special acknowledgement of Dame Dr Karen Poutasi who was confirmed as Chair of Te Whatu Ora. Dame Karen was appointed from the existing Board membership. We are pleased for the continuity of governance and to benefit from her distinguished career in health leadership and governance.


Please save a date in your diary for our upcoming Stakeholder virtual hui – 2 August, 2.30pm. We love being able to talk to you and answer the questions you post, and we will be sending an invite with details of the next event shortly.


If you would like to come along and haven't been before, please register here to receive your invitation for future events: Invitation for Stakeholder hui.


We are both mindful of the pressures you will be under during this time with your mahi, and encourage you all to take care of yourselves and your whānau, and focus on some regular self-care of your tinana, hinengaro and wairua.



Ka nui ngā mihi,

Margie and Riana

Reflection on One Year of Localities

It has been an exhilarating journey since the announcement of localities, an innovative initiative aimed at revolutionising healthcare in Aotearoa, New Zealand.


Localities have empowered communities and whānau, giving them a powerful voice in shaping the healthcare services that matter most to them. We have witnessed first-hand the remarkable growth of this movement, with communities stepping up to actively participate in the design, funding, and delivery of health care services.


At a national level:

  • Worked with local stakeholders and mana whenua to establish twelve Locality Partnership Groups in twelve geographic regions

  • Provided resources and data to Locality Partnership Groups to enable the development of draft locality plans that identify health and wellbeing priorities for each region

  • Enabled a national Learning and Insights programme to run alongside the establishment of the first localities in order to learn and iterate our approach for the national rollout

  • Received all twelve locality hauroa priorities. These priorities reflect whānau voice and will inform future investment of services and provisions in each region

  • Engaged with other national and local government agencies to direct investments toward locality priorities  

  • Partnered with Iwi Māori Partnership Boards and engaging local governments to determine geographic areas for the next tranche of localities 


At a local level:

  • We have heard from voices that we have not heard from before due to localised and appropriate community engagement driven by the locality

  • We have worked hard to rebuild relationships and regain trust with iwi and whānau Māori through localities as a vehicle to exercise tino rangatiratanga

  • We have supported local public and private care services to work more collaboratively to respond to local priorities with innovative initiatives being seen in oral health, mental health and elderly care amongst others


Our goal is ambitious yet attainable: by July 2024, we envision every person in Aotearoa belonging to a locality, where their healthcare needs are addressed with equity, compassion, and respect.


For more information: Localities – Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand

Healthline Advertising Underway

A range of adverts on the radio are telling people about the services Healthline provides. Each advert introduces listeners to a trained Healthline responder or a Healthline caller in a warm and friendly way.


By providing information on the ways Healthline can help, it is hoped that people will use their services to get advice early, resulting in fewer visits to emergency departments and urgent care this winter.


Hear from: nurse Catherine, dad and grandpa Sione, mum of four tamariki, Ranui and more.


All adverts can be heard here


For more information and flyers you can use, click the links below:


Stakeholder virtual hui - 2 August, 2.30pm

Guests from 5 July hui - Top Row (L-R): Andrew Slater, Mahaki Albert (MC), Riana Manuel

Bottom Row (L-R): Dame Dr Karen Poutasi,  Tipa Mahuta,  Nick Chamberlain

Right: Rangi Musgrave (NZSL Interpreter)

Please join us for our next stakeholder virtual hui on 2 August at 2.30pm, where our Chief Executives will be joined by guest speakers.


If you would like to register or receive an invitation for future events Invitation for Stakeholder hui.


These regular hui provide a chance to hear updates and ask questions of Margie and Riana, as well as our special guests and experts. To check out the last recording or any of the previous hui, including responses to questions and feedback Stakeholder hui.


If you missed the previous live stream event you can access a recording Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora.

Free Cervical Screening Services

Free cervical screening services are coming for priority groups in the community.


As part of the move to the new primary cervical screening test, which will test for the human papillomavirus infection (HPV) virus that causes almost all cervical cancers, a boost of $7.3 million in funding has been provided for free screening access.


Those who will be eligible for free screening include populations at a higher risk of cervical cancer, which are:

  • People who are unscreened (have never had a screening test),

  • Under screened (haven’t had a test in the past five years)

  • At higher risk requiring surveillance/follow up

  • Māori, Pacific, and anyone who is a community service cardholder


The free screening will be available from 12 September 2023, when the new HPV test will roll out. More details here.


The new HPV test will also open up the option for self-testing. If you’re due for your screening though, don’t put it off until September – the current test is a safe and effective tool in detecting cervical cancers.

First steps in transformation of maternity and early years services

Kahu Taurima is the joint Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora approach to maternity and early years (pre-conception to five- years-old, or the 'first 2000 days of life') for all whānau in Aotearoa New Zealand. 


New equipment for hospitals and community-based te ao Māori and Pacific solutions are the first steps being taken as part of Kahu Taurima - the transformation of maternity and early-years services.

Associate Health Minister Willow-Jean Prime recently announced the $7 million purchase of 20 new paediatric retinal cameras, which will ensure at least one portable camera is available in every tertiary hospital and help improve consistency of access to neonatal retinal screening for premature babies.


Over $74million will also be invested over the next two years in the first stage of Kahu Taurima.


Te ao Māori and Pacific solutions are the first steps of Kahu Taurima, with 40 hauora Māori partners and five Pacific partners funded to integrate and create wrap-around services that put whānau at the centre of their maternity and early-years journey.


Kahu Taurima will also include a range of new approaches to Well Child Tamariki Ora services that improve access to child growth and development assessments, and opportunities for midwives to work as part of supported teams. 


More information here.

Pelvic Mesh Service Underway

Te Whatu Ora leadership and consumers have joined Associate Minister Willow-Jean Prime to acknowledge the mahi behind the establishment of the New Zealand Female Pelvic Mesh Service.


The nationwide service, which was launched in April and already has more than 70 referrals, offers support and treatment for women suffering complications from surgery involving pelvic mesh.


“It’s been vitally important to resolve the pain and distress some women experience after pelvic mesh surgery,” Willow-Jean Prime told those gathered at Waitematā’s Whenua Pupuke facility.

Health navigators based at two locations – one in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) and the other in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) – work with women around the country to help put together the best treatment options.


Jo Gibbs (pictured), Te Whatu Ora Director, Systems Delivery – Hospital& Specialist Services, told the guests that the establishment of the service had been a long journey, and not just for the women suffering from complications from their surgery.


She thanked the many clinicians and others within Te Whatu Ora who listened to the voice of the consumers, advocated for change and then bravely worked to make that happen.

Andrea Colby - 30 years a Cardiac Nurse

Andrea Colby loves her job today as much, if not more, than when she first started out at Rotorua Hospital.


She’s racked up more than 30 years working in the intensive care unit/critical care unit  and for the last seven years has been working as a Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialist.


“When I first started, people would die in the critical care unit but now with the treatments we have, there is a greater

survival rate and people go on to live a great life.


“I love my job so much. I love how we meet so many different people and get to spend time with them and be a really good patient advocate. I love trying to get the best for my patients”.


 “We can come into work and make a real difference to people. No one wants to be in here, they just need people to be kind and be their advocate. I feel very lucky and that I have the best job in the world.”

World Hepatitis Day - 28 July 2023

World Hepatitis Day is a good time to be aware that if you’ve ever received an unsterile tattoo, piercing or injected drugs, you could have hepatitis-C without even knowing it.


The good news is an easy finger prick test can tell you if you’ve ever been exposed to hepatitis-C, and there’s a cure.


You can get tested for hepatitis-C at some GPs, pharmacies, kaupapa Māori health providers and needle exchanges, and at mobile services and pop-up clinics all over Aotearoa. 100% confidential, no questions asked.

If you think you might be at risk, find your nearest hepatitis-C testing location at

Te Aka Whai Ora welcomes new Board Appointments

Te Aka Whai Ora welcomes three new Board appointments, Kim Ngarimu (Te Aitanga ā Mate, Ngāti Porou), Ben Dalton (Ngāpuhi, Ngati Porou) and Helmut Modlik (Ngāti Toa Rangatira).  


“These members bring a wealth of knowledge in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, mātauranga Māori, kaupapa Māori approaches, commissioning, governance and financial management. They join five other members, one of whom I’ve reappointed, to make up a balanced board of four wāhine and four tāne,” says Minister Peeni Henare.


They have all been appointed for a three-year term.

Kim Ngarimu has been appointed as the Deputy Chair. 


“Kim Ngarimu is the Director of Tāua Limited, a consultant company specialising in public policy and public management, and the Deputy Chair of Te Kaunihera Rata o Aotearoa, Medical Council of New Zealand. She brings with her a deep understanding of the machinery of government and executive level experience as a former Deputy Secretary at Te Puni Kōkiri. She is also a system level thinker, strategist, and influencer with proven capability in stakeholder engagement,” says Minister Henare. 

“Ben Dalton is a resilient, disciplined, diligent and determined leader. He currently works as the Deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Like Ms Ngarimu, he brings to his role government leadership experience at a Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive level. He also has entrepreneurial experience through his Chief Operating Officer role for the Provincial Development Unit of the Provincial Growth fund. 


“Helmut Modlik brings an extensive network across government and iwi, and a positive reputation for making real change. He is the current Tumu Whakarae of Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira and a former Board member of PHARMAC, Capital & Coast DHB, and the Health Information Standards Organisation. He has strong executive and governance experience, including in public health, and a proven capability to advance Māori outcomes at an iwi level,” says Minister Henare. 

Reflecting on the significance of these appointments, Te Aka Whai Ora Chair Tipa Mahuta is delighted to strengthen the strategic leadership for what is an ambitious work programme.   


“These appointments mark an exciting chapter for Te Aka Whai Ora, as we build on the momentum achieved in our first year and continue our relentless focus on pae ora – good health for our whānau, our communities, and our health sector workers.” 


Current Te Aka Whai Ora Board members include:  

  • Tipa Mahuta (Chair) – Waikato, Maniapoto, Ngāpuhi  

  • Dr Mataroria Lyndon – Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Wai, Waikato  

  • Steven McJorrow – Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Moe  

  • Awerangi Tamihere – Ngāti Kauwhata, Rangitāne, Ngāti Porou, Rongowhakaata, Kāi Tahu  

  • Fiona Pimm (reappointed member) – Ngāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha. 

Te Whatu Ora welcomes new Board Chair

Dame Dr Karen Poutasi is Board Chair of Te Whatu Ora. Dame Karen, who is a medically trained doctor, has significant governance and leadership experience in the public health and education sectors. She is also Chair of Taumata Arowai – the Water Services Regulator and Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional and has been a board member of Te Whatu Ora since its establishment. 


Dame Karen was previously the Commissioner of Waikato District Health Board and Chair of the COVID-19

Immunisation Programme Governance Group.

Dame Karen’s previous executive positions have included Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Director-General of Health and Chief Executive, Ministry of Health.

Hiwa-i-te-rangi Māori Health Leadership Scholarship applications open

Scholarship Applications


Applications for the Hiwa-i-te-rangi Māori Health Leadership Scholarship are now open and will be accepted until 5pm on Thursday 31 August 2023.


A maximum of $10,000 may be awarded to any one individual per year, and the funds can be used to cover tuition fees, living costs, or study-related expenses.


Now in its third year, the scholarship, which is offered by Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading home and community support services provider, NZ Health Group, is designed to support more Māori, who are on a pathway to make a significant difference in the healthcare sector, be in decision-making leadership roles.


“The scholarship has been designed to encourage and provide financial support to aspiring Māori health leaders who want to drive positive change, address the unique health challenges faced by our communities and make a tangible difference in the lives of our whānau while contributing to the transformation of the health sector.”


Carlton Irving, the recipient of the 2021 Hiwa-i-te-rangi Māori Health Leadership Scholarship, shared his experience, stating, "For me, there's nothing more valuable than spending time with my tamariki, and that's what the scholarship gave me.


“Before I received the scholarship, I was working 3-4 jobs on top of my studies. The financial support was a huge help as it enabled me to continue my studies and spend my time doing what I value the most and what my children value the most –spending time as a family" Carlton said.


Carlton is a champion of Māori leadership in health and wants to see Tikanga Māori normalised across our health system. During his studies at Otago University, he took the initiative to establish Te Reo and cultural safety courses, which aim to promote a greater understanding of the Māori worldview among the future generation of doctors in Aotearoa.


Now in his fifth year of medical school, Carlton is engaged in a rural GP placement in the Hawkes Bay while also working at Te Aka Whai Ora as Akatū Aki Hauora Matua -Hauora Haumi as Chief Clinical Officer - Allied Health.


Carlton encourages individuals with a passion for healthcare and a dedication to improving health and well-being outcomes for Māori to apply for the scholarship.


"You have nothing to lose. Put the time in, apply for the scholarship and see where it can take you. If we want to improve Māori health, we need more people to join the health system from the communities we're looking to serve. Don't holdback. Apply and see the difference you can make," says Carlton.


Interested individuals can find more information and access the application form on the New Zealand Health Group's website.


The scholarship winners will be announced during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (11-18 September 2023).

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