Local iwi and health providers have recently formed the Horowhenua Takiwā Alliance. Its first public activity will be a health and wellbeing expo, called ”Whakarongo Mai”, which celebrates community voices and aspirations, to be held on October 4-7, at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, Taitoko/Levin.
The alliance wants to gather all local expertise and create a consistent voice on health needs within the Horowhenua community.
“Working together with a cohesive plan will mean all members of the community can have their health needs met in a relevant matter.
“The Horowhenua Hauora Alliance will become the central repository for existing providers, networks, lobby groups and community to put forward their aspirations, challenges and opportunities creating a cohesive and shared community plan for the design, delivery and investment in health and wellbeing services over the next three years,” a media release issued this week stated.
“The Horowhenua Hauora Alliance values the existing community groups, networks, lobby groups and community intelligence. This approach seeks to gather all this expertise and create a consistent voice and plan to provide Te Pae Oranga o Ruahine o Tararua, Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whaiora regarding the Horowhenua communities requirements and priorities.
“It is the hope that we will move away from a system of silo-ing to support the environment of collaboration and shared collateral which is inherently at the base of how Horowhenua operates – and would naturally lean to. This ensures that through working together with a cohesive plan, all members of the community can have their health and wellbeing needs met in a timely and effective way that is relevant for them.
“The Kaupapa of Horowhenua Hauora Alliance is grounded in an iwi provider-led approach that recognises mana whenua status. Grounded in the tikanga and kawa of iwi leadership, is the fundamental practice of manaakitanga, requiring a whole-of-community perspective in health and iwi leadership and engagement with Te Pae Oranga o Ruahine o Tararua (IMPB) wellbeing for the takiwā.”
The alliance is made up of CEOs of Muaūpoko Tribal Authority, Raukawa Whanau Ora, Mana Whaikaha, Te Pae Oranga a Ruahine a Tararua/Tāhū Ora, Pasifika, Horowhenua District Council, Whaioro Trust, Mana a te Tangata Trust, Emerge Aotearoa and Think Hauora.
Whakarongo Mai is an opportunity for the community to reflect on what has been heard and to provide additional insights into what is needed to enhance the health and wellbeing of community members. This event is an open invitation to all, as the power to make change lies firmly with the community.
Localities, a new way of working centred on the unique needs and aspirations of each community, is all about engaging the “whānau voice” in decision-making processes.
The Horowhenua Takiwā locality serves as an inspiring example of how localities are transforming healthcare by ensuring underrepresented groups have their voices heard.
Creative workshops were a pivotal part of this journey, allowing community members to express their hauora dreams through art, collage, and film. These workshops were intentionally designed to be accessible and inclusive, empowering individuals who might not engage in traditional survey methods to share their perspectives and provide valuable insights.
“The Whakarongo Mai exhibition showcases the commitment to giving back the ‘taonga’ of community voices. We are not only celebrating their unique perspectives but also inviting additional input to confirm our priorities, ensuring that the voices of the community are genuinely heard and acted upon,” said Di Rump, chair of the Horowhenua Takiwā Alliance.
Localities are about more than just health services; they are about achieving “pae ora” (healthy futures) for whānau by improving living environments, lifestyles, and opportunities for all community members.
“What’s exciting about localities is that the community decides what their health priorities are. The power to make change lies firmly with the community,” said Betty-Lou Iwikau, deputy chair, speaking specifically about the impact localities can have for Māori and equitable health and wellbeing.
“The Whakarongo Mai exhibition is a testament to the inclusive and empowering journey that the Horowhenua Takiwā locality has undertaken. It’s an invitation to join us in celebrating community voices and shaping a healthier, more equitable future for all in Horowhenua.”