Te Runanga o Ngai Tamawhariua Health and Social Services has moved from its base at Te Rereatukahia marae to a new home in the heart of Katikati.

The doors opened at the new premises in the former Skelton's Real Estate building on August 13, after a karakia at the marae, followed by a blessing at the new site.

The catalyst to relocating was to help overcome barriers for some when accessing the site at the marae, says manager Chris Jacob.

"People can come to town now with everything accessible.


"It's great to be here and to have a place and a face. It's a really positive move back into the community and to be engaging."

The runanga plans to focus on Maori health and wellbeing ... "but we are here to support anyone who comes to the door if we can."

Chris says feedback has been positive, "whanau have said it's nice to see something Maori in town and the public walking past have been positive".

The runanga continues to provide services for adult mental health, infant/child/adolescent/youth mental health, peer support and advocacy, Whānau Ora healthy living and promotions, whānau support and youth at risk.

On Tuesday nights they also facilitate a free mobile youth clinic from 6.30pm to 8.30pm with free doctors for youth and their whanau.

Along with the provision for health and social services, the runanga has nine portfolios including health and wellbeing, unemployment, land, whenua, culture and housing.

Chris says from the first concept, the runanga has grown and become very successful.

"Being in the new site enables us at governance level to look at what our role is in the community and defining these to get a strategy plan to benefit hapu and anyone who lives here."


Runanga Ngai Tamawhariua Board member Martin Johnson says the board is definitely excited about relocating.

"We, as a new board, are excited to come into town and help. Being at the pa was reaching and helping our hapu but we noticed the community was not coming down as much.

"This gives us a positive look and we can make a difference with other cultures now."

Trustee Dolores Nathan has managed the runanga for more than 20 years. She says initially the service was set up for Maori, but now Maori are able to be seen and get services everywhere.

"This is a new era and a new age starting to develop. Our Whakatauki or Mission statement since its inception is still the same: Ka mahi tahi tatou mo te oranga o te katoa - We must work together for the betterment of all."

Runanga Ngai Tamawhariua was formed following a meeting at Te Rereatuakhia marae in 1989. In conjunction with the kaumatua and kuia the concept to bring health and social services to Maori was set up by Dave Murray.


In 1991 the runanga became the first organisation to form a joint venture with Western Bay Health for Maori mental health initiatives.

The carving at the entrance to the building signifies a gateway. Created by lead carver, Simon Madgewick and supported by Hepa Murray, Tony Murray, Arawhata Haimoana and Kelly Purukamu when in their teens, it has been in storage since the runanga left the Homewood building.

"When we came here, it (carving) was like welcoming us. It brings our hapu and culture into the community," says Dolores.

"I believe we have had love and guidance from the heavenly father. He led us to where we are today."

The runanga plans to become more involved with Otawhiwhi and Tuapiro marae and encourages engagement with wider marae, and is working with Katikati Community Centre and Katikati College to support rangitahi (young people).