Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated would like to acknowledge the new Tihei Tākitimu Partnership Board that has been appointed to represent the voice of our whānau to ensure whānau receive quality health services at all times.
On June 14, the Establishment Steering Group responsible for the formation of the inaugural Iwi-Māori Partnership Board known as Tihei Tākitimu Partnership Board (TTPB) announced the appointment of eight members to the board. Lewis Ratapu, Tania Eden, Heather Skipworth, Henry Heke, Kerri Nuku, Coralee Thompson, Darryn Russell and Beverly Te Huia.
"The establishment of Tihei Tākitimu gives us a strong voice in these health reforms to ensure accessible, high-quality services are available for Māori, with a focus on equitable outcomes," said Waylyn Tahuri-Whaipakanga, chairperson of the appointments committee.
"The Establishment Steering Group made up of 40 members with representation from Wairoa to Tamatea ran a transparent appointment process to secure the best possible candidates that have a mix of skills and experience required to influence the changes needed. The TTPB, which are a mix of iwi members, mātāwaka and health professionals, share a commitment and dedication to improving Māori health with a strong community focus.
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"This is a really important time for Māori Health in Ngāti Kahungunu. It's the first time we've had a Māori Health Authority, so the opportunities to shape how we fund and how we partner with our Māori health providers and Māori communities is really important yet exciting going forward," Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chairman Bayden Barber said.
Health NZ is the new national entity responsible for the planning and commissioning of hospital, primary and community health services. The 20 District Health Boards will no longer exist. Health NZ will operate four regional offices. Each region will work with their districts, located closer to local communities, to develop and implement plans based on local needs to improve the health and wellbeing of communities.
The Māori Health Authority, established alongside Health NZ, will have shared responsibility for decision-making, planning and delivery.
Local iwi-Māori partnership boards such as the Tihei Tākitimu Partnership Board will help shape appropriate health and wellbeing services to meet the needs of local communities through being an influencing and decision-making voice for iwi and Māori at a local level, supporting Te Tiriti partnerships throughout the system.
The health system reforms will enhance Māori leadership over Māori wellbeing and ensure greater influence throughout the entire health system. This is central to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and will help ensure everyone has the same access to good health outcomes. That includes strengthening mana motuhake for whānau – supporting them to take control of their own health and wellbeing.
"It's a new regime and a new dawn for Aotearoa, and Ngāti Kahungunu certainly congratulates and supports this new relationship board," Barber said.