Ruruku - 21 September 2023

on 22 September

21 September 2023

News & Updates


  • Message from Chief Executives

  • Stakeholder virtual hui recordings

  • Settlement reached with midwives and maternity care assistants

  • Mental health awareness week 18-24 September

  • Whakatāne Hospital celebrates 100 years

  • New cervical screening test will be a ‘game changer’ in reducing cervical cancer rates

  • Growing our Māori and Pacific workforce

  • Kaupapa Māori suicide prevention services investment

  • New appointment Interim National Chief Nursing Officer - Emma Hickson

  • Applications open for the 2024/25 Harkness Fellowships

Message from Chief Executives

Mental health awareness week is 18-24 September. Working in health, we all know how important mental health is to wellbeing. We also know that the health and wellbeing of patients, whānau and communities depends on a thriving healthcare workforce, which is why looking after our kaimahi, ourselves, and each other, matters. 


We are excited by the launch of a new cervical screening test which is expected to increase screening rates and significantly reduce cervical cancer deaths in Aotearoa New Zealand. Read more about this in the article below.


Sunday 10 September was World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme was ‘Creating Hope Through Action’ encouraging understanding, reaching in and sharing experiences, and giving people the confidence to take action. The day acted as a reminder for people to reach out when they need support, and to offer support to each other. We want to acknowledge everyone who has lost someone to suicide, people experiencing distress and those who work with whānau bereaved by suicide.


We welcome our new Interim National Chief Nursing Officer, Emma Hickson. She will join with the other interim leads in the National Clinical Team in embedding a distributive, multidisciplinary clinical leadership model across Te Whatu Ora. You can read more about her in this issue.


New Zealand Chinese Language Week is a kiwi-driven initiative launched in 2014. We are proud to celebrate this initiative designed to increase Chinese language learning in New Zealand. Join us as we take a moment to bridge the cultural and linguistic knowledge gap between China and New Zealand by delivering fun and practical initiatives to learn Chinese.



Ka nui ngā mihi,

Margie and Riana

Stakeholder virtual hui recordings

Guests from 7 September virtual hui - Top Row (L-R): Mahaki Albert (MC), Margie Apa, Riana Manuel

Bottom Row (L-R): Kadin Latham, Samuel Wong, Nick Chamberlain

Thank you to everyone who joined our stakeholder virtual hui on 7 September 2023.


Margie and Riana shared updates on the Te Mauri o Rongo | the New Zealand Health Charter and next steps. For more information click here: HealthCharter


Our digital services teams from Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora, discussed the digital improvements, based on the system shift where digital services will provide more people with the care they need in their homes and communities. If you have any questions please contact:


Nick Chamberlain, National Director, National Public Health Service discussed immunisation, vaccine preventable diseases, challenges, achievements and opportunities.


If you missed the livestream event, you can access a recording through the following links Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora.


If you would like to join us or register for the next hui on 4 October 3-4pm, or get invitations for future events click here.

Settlement reached with midwives and maternity care assistants

An agreement has been reached between the government and midwives over a proposed pay equity settlement.


About 1700 midwives and maternity care assistants will soon vote on the proposal, which was agreed to by the Nurses Organisation and the Midwifery union.


For more information click link

Mental health awareness week 18-24 September

This is Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW). This year’s theme is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, a set of simple actions that are proven to improve our mental health. The ‘Five Ways, Five Days’ campaign asks New Zealanders to Take Notice, Give, Be Active, Connect and Keep Learning.


You can access the Mental Health Foundation’s free MHAW resources by heading to the website and printing the resources you need. The MHAW Guide provides activity ideas for each day of the week, and the ‘how to have a safe and supportive korero’ resource is helpful for anyone who’s worried about someone going through a difficult time. There’s also plenty of opportunity to get involved with MHAW themed events happening in your region by checking out the What’s On calendar.

Whakatāne Hospital celebrates 100 years

Congratulations to Whakatāne Hospital who celebrated their 100 years last week. Thank you to community stakeholders and our health partners in Whakatāne. We are very appreciative and acknowledge that the hospital team are part of a very supportive network of community and business partners in Whakatāne. 

Current and former staff and volunteers gathered at Whakatāne War Memorial Hall last week (Wednesday 13 September) for afternoon tea to celebrate Whakatāne Hospital’s 100th year anniversary.


Representatives from Te Pare o Toi began proceedings with a karakia and waiata before a quick run-through of the hospital’s history was conducted. Former Whakatāne Hospital Nurse Jane Haultain was then given the honour to cut a cake which featured images of the hospital in its various forms over the years.


The event then became interactive as MC for the day, 1XX radio personality Colin Magee, took his microphone around the tables encouraging the audience to reminisce on some of their memories of their time at the hospital. What followed was a trip down memory lane, with many familiar names regaled, many hospital antics and patient stories recalled and many laughs had by all.

New cervical screening test will be a ‘game changer’ in reducing cervical cancer rates

A new cervical screening test launched last week and is expected to increase screening rates

and significantly reduce cervical cancer deaths in Aotearoa New Zealand.  


The human papillomavirus (HPV) primary screening test is a simple and quick swab that people can choose to do themselves. It detects the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which causes more than 95% of cervical cancers.  


Dr Nick Chamberlain, National Director of the National Public Health Service, says HPV primary screening will be a game changer.


“Not only is this test easier and less intrusive, it’s also a better, more sensitive test that will prevent more cancers. It also means most people will only have to be screened every five years instead of three.”  


The introduction of HPV primary screening is expected to help towards addressing long standing inequities for Māori and Pacific people, who have higher rates of incidence and death from cervical cancer.


The launch also marked the start of free cervical screening for higher risk groups and for people where cost is a barrier.  


For more information click the link


Free resources for providers can be downloaded here:

Growing our Māori and Pacific workforce

Last week, Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand Waitaha (Canterbury) held a hui for our kaimahi (employees) currently working in support/assistant roles who identify as Māori and Pasifika.


The purpose of the hui was for our kaimahi to learn about different clinical health professions, and explore what potential, full-time work and part-time study pathways into those professions could look like.


Bringing our kaimahi together, and supporting them on their career journey is something we’re doing to help grow our Māori and Pacific workforce, at Te Whatu Ora, and across the entire health system.


Creating opportunities to support our kaimahi to transition from support/assistant functions into clinical professions, via an “earn as you learn” approach, is one of many key initiatives of our Health workforce plan 2023/24.

Kaupapa Māori suicide prevention services investment

Te Aka Whai Ora has increased funding to kaupapa Māori suicide prevention services across the motu to strengthen their important role in building resilience within hapū, hapori and whānau Māori to reduce the impacts of suicide on communities.


It has almost tripled its investment in Kia Piki Te Ora Kaupapa Māori Suicide Prevention Services, going from $1.6million in the 21/22 financial year to $4.3million in the 23/24 financial year.

Te Aka Whai Ora is working to:

  • Reduce the impact of suicide on communities, including approaches consistent with mātauranga Māori

  • Review the national approach to Māori suicide prevention and construct suicide prevention approaches consistent with mātauranga Māori, to reduce the rate of suicide and suicidal behaviour 

  • Invest in suicide prevention to build resilience and promote wellbeing among whānau, and reduce the impact of suicide.


For more information, click this link


Pictured: Riana Manuel, Chief Executive, Te Aka Whai Ora

Interim National Chief Nursing Officer - Emma Hickson

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of the Interim National Chief Nursing Officer, Emma Hickson.


Emma has a wealth of experience and will be a fantastic asset to our team. Her role will be to provide strong professional leadership to ensure the delivery of safe, high quality care across the health system. 


She will join with the other interim leads in the National Clinical Team in embedding a distributive, multidisciplinary clinical leadership model across Te Whatu Ora. 

Emma is a registered Nurse, was a registered midwife, with experience in primary, community and hospital health services. She has worked extensively overseas, with the last 22 years living and working in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Emma has worked in nursing leadership roles, in operational management, nursing education and research, and for hospital and community services. She has been Director of Nursing for Primary and Community services and District Chief Nurse, working in executive and commissioning teams.


Emma has more recently worked in Manatū Hauora as a Chief Clinical Officer, supporting the response to COVID-19, and in Te Whatu Ora, assisting implementation of Pae Ora through contributing to the development and early implementation of Te Pae Tata through the Early Action Programme.


She is based in Te Whanganui a Tara and has greatly valued the opportunities that Te Whatu Ora has enabled in working in partnership with Te Aka Whai Ora and other partners in health in up and down the motu.

Applications open for the 2024/25 Harkness Fellowships

The Commonwealth Fund is pleased to announce that the application for the 2024/25 Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice is now open. The submission deadline is 1 November 2023. The new fellowship class begins the program in August/September 2024.


Apply here!


The Harkness Fellowships offer a unique opportunity to spend a fully funded year in the United States conducting internationally comparative research on a topic of your choice; honing your leadership skills through customized seminars and trainings; and building a robust network for international exchange and collaboration.
The program is open to individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who are committed to advancing health policy and practice. Successful applicants must:


  • Live and work in one of the nine participating countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and the United Kingdom

  • Show significant promise as a policy-oriented health care leader and demonstrate expertise in health policy issues

  • Propose a research project aimed at creating policy or system-level change

  • Have the relevant education or work experience to carry out the proposed research and take full advantage of the fellowship experience. 


For more information, visit


For answers to questions about the program, including eligibility, contact Molly FitzGerald, Program Manager, International Leadership Programs, at 

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