Hapū and whānau in Northland will be able to have their say about what's important when it comes the health of Māori.
Te Poutokomanawa, the Māori Health Directorate at Northland District Health Board, is hosting hui throughout the region next month to hear the views of its Māori community regarding health priorities.
It follows two rounds of engagement hui which happened in August and September last year.
Harold Wereta, general manager of Māori Health at Northland DHB, said the hui were important because "health should always be about the voice of the community."
"When we completed the second round of hui with whānau a question was asked 'should the DHB write the plan and say to our community here it is or do we go out and work with them to co-design the plan together?' They were emphatic in saying we must do it together; they too will then own the strategy," he said.
The hui will take place at Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia on February 14 from 9am to 1pm; Kaeo Memorial Hall on February 15 from 9am to 1pm; Rawene Town Hall on February 18 from 9am to 1pm; The Kaikohe Senior Citizens Hall on February 18 from 4pm to 7pm; Dargaville Hospital Community Health Lounge on February 22 from 9am to 1pm; and Pehiāweri Marae in Whangārei on February 25 from 9am to 1pm.
It is the first time Northland DHB has engaged its community - apart from one of issues like rheumatic fever or sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI) - since 2011/12 when the Northland Health Service Plan was prepared.
"Our reason for reconnecting with whānau was to re-establish the kanohi-ki-te-kanohi (face to face) relationship and through this understand what whānau had experienced, good or bad, when they accessed health services," Wereta said.
The DHB is seeking the views of whānau, hapu, Māori health providers, community NGO providers and anyone who has a keen interest in the wellness and wellbeing of Māori whānau.
"As we have journeyed across Te Tai Tokerau, starting in Ngataki in the very Far North, the constant message that has resonated from 12 hui is we need change, basic services are absent and they have had enough.
"In addition, kaumātua who attended also said, if we give our words we want to see the change happen for our whānau."