Kaitāia's grapevine has always worked well, but doesn't always get the story right.

And when it comes to iMOKO, it's well off the mark according to Trevor Beatson, interim CEO of the Moko Foundation.

"iMOKO headquarters have gone but we have not," Mr Beatson said last week.

"With the recent lift and shift of the iMOKO HQ, including Dr Lance O'Sullivan and the Telehealth team, to Auckland, some may have mistakenly thought that the iMOKO programme was off to Auckland too, but it, and its support staff, aren't going anywhere."


The iMOKO programme was continuing to deliver digital health services to about 2600 children in the Far North, under contract to the Northland DHB.

The programme was available and working in these schools every day, using the school and community-based team of digital health aides.

The programme still had its Far North satellite office at 25-27 Commerce Street in Kaitāia, where it had always been and where the Moko Foundation still was.

It also continued to serve as a rapid response drop-in site for anybody aged five to 19 years who might have a sore throat, and wishes to be swabbed to check for strep A infection.

Local woman Gydnia King was still working for the programme, and continued to provide support to various local schools, early childhood centres and kōhanga reo that had adopted iMOKO.

"We are here, open and ready for business," she said.

Mr Beatson said all local staff employed by the Moko Foundation were trained in visiting and supporting schools, and taking throat swabs if required.

"Lance's vision for moving the headquarters and operations to Auckland was to find the right technical and business support to really explode iMOKO on to the national stage, and to deliver the programme not just in the Far and Mid North, but to truly grow it nationwide," he said.


"Already, in the short time they have been in Auckland, significant progress has been made, and iMOKO is accelerating and growing in leaps and bounds.

"This impacts on the Far North in a positive way, because as the business and technology improve, so does the delivery of iMOKO services in the Far North."

iMOKO's telehealth team and headquarters are on 0508 4 iMOKO (0508 446-656), or call in at the Kaitāia office (the former Kaitāia Hotel restaurant), phone (09) 408-8805.