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Health Providers Form Strategic Alliance

Te Amorangi Richmond set to provide low-cost Primary Health

Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka and The Richmond Fellowship New Zealand, two experienced providers of mental health services and social services for Maori, have formed a strategic partnership to provide primary healthcare for people who are economically disadvantaged.

A newly formed company, Te Amorangi Richmond, will offer quality low-cost primary healthcare from interim accommodation on a site purchased from the Christchurch City Council at the corner of Pages Road and Woodham Road, in Aranui, from April 2001. Te Amorangi Richmond plans to establish a purpose-built wellness centre on the site, staffed by its own doctors, mental health workers, nurses, physiotherapists and social workers.

Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka CEO, Norm Dewes, says the joint venture is a significant step in the development of health services for the economically disadvantaged. The services would embrace the principle of Kaupapa Maori but be available to all members of the community in line with the guiding philosophy of Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka (literally translated for this venture -- a confederation of all peoples – all nations). Te Amorangi Richmond will work with a range of other providers, depending on individual client need.

“The partners in Te Amorangi Richmond see great benefits from forging this strategic alliance, including the ability to maximise the use of Government funding,” says Mr Dewes. “With the goodwill of the community and the continuing support of the local authorities we look forward to blending mainstream health principles and Kaupapa Maori philosophies to provide health services which are accessible, affordable and people-centred.”

“The need for low-cost health care is not new, but a substantial growth in demand has made it that much more important to find a solution. Despite what some may think, accessibility and affordability have played a big role in the decline of Maori health. We have received excellent support from the Christchurch City to develop this new approach and look forward to filling an urgent need within the community.”

The chief executive of Richmond Fellowship New Zealand, Dr Gerry Walmisley, who is also chairman of Te Amorangi Richmond, says the partners are determined to make services affordable and accessible. “In New Zealand this is the Fellowship’s first primary medical and health service, and this fits in nicely with the Government’s primary health strategy. The real strength of this alliance is that it allows us to work closely with clients in the community, where there is an opportunity for early intervention and community
health promotion. We applaud the strong support for this
exciting initiative by the Minister of Health.”

Richmond Fellowship is a major provider of community health and development services throughout New Zealand. The Fellowship has developed specialist services for a range of purchasers including the Ministry of Health, Crown Public Health and District Health Services. Services include support programmes for people with mental, psychiatric or psychological illness, respite and emergency support, consumer-based drop-in services, specialist youth services, and dual diagnosis services (including intellectual disability/mental illness).

Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka is a charitable company established over thirty years ago to provide a range of social services for Maori such as legal advice and support, mediation, negotiation, advocacy, prisoner support, facilitation and counselling.

The organisation has more recently developed strengths in youth training and tertiary sector programmes. Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka is also involved in a large number of voluntary activities, which include media production, brokerage of contracts with government agencies on the behalf of third parties and also has representation on local government committees. Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka has formed strategic alliances with Waipareira Trust, Manukau Urban Maori Authority, tribal affiliations, professional bodies and several crown agencies.

Te Runanga O Nga Maata Waka deals with and provides programmes in road safety for the LTSA (Land Transport Safety Authority), Social Services Diploma (MOE), National Certification in Employment Skills (Community Corrections), COGS; CBO; ACE; Taskforce Green (WINZ) and Youth Crime Prevention (DIA).

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