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Hon Tariana Turia - Speech to launch MOKO

Hon Tariana Turia
13 October 2000 Speech Notes

Speech to launch MOKO: Maori mental health service, Waitemata Health, Henderson, Auckland


Thank you for the invitation to come and celebrate the launch of your new Mäori mental health services – MOKO.

MOKO is the first step towards whanau, hapü, iwi and Maori communities to participate, manage and control the delivery of quality health services.

I note that in your 1997 Plan on Mäori Community Health Services, you acknowledge the high level of energy and passion required to build an environment for change.

MOKO is a result of that energy, passion and commitment by you all in the last 3 years. It does not, however, end here, the environment continues to change yet again.

Your energy and passion is still needed to ensure that the wellness of whanau continues to be advanced in this environment. Whanau, hapu and iwi aspirations should be supported and nurtured to their successful fruition.

I am pleased to be here today to celebrate with you, the bold moves this mainstream organisation has taken to obviously meet the needs of whanau, within your community.

I congratulate you all, the staff, the tangata whaiora and advisers who have participated in this work - for your success in working together to bring about positive changes in service delivery and quality.

I acknowledge the many Mäori clinicians, health professionals, community workers and representatives who have worked hard to ensure the needs of our communities are known and used to actively influence the planning, delivery and practices involved in mental health services.

I want to reinforce the messages you have received and no doubt will continue to receive from our people:

Recognise that there are unique and diverse realities that whanau, hapü, and iwi Mäori face each day which form the basis of their needs.

We must understand those diverse realities requires you to 'think outside the box' – take into account the many strands that are woven together to form 'the whole' person and the whanau that person comes from.

 Recognise not only the clinical skills and expertise that Mäori bring with them into these services.

 But also recognise the cultural basis of those professional clinical skills which Mäori mental health workers bring to their work in when dealing with our own.

 The true results of your hard work will be seen in the reduction in the numbers of admissions and re-admissions to your services and the devolution of your services into the communities that you serve.

Northland Health is the first HHS I have spoken to that has openly and consistently committed to devolving its Mäori community mental health services back into its communities.

Northland Health, and now you (Waitemata Health) are examples of mainstream organisations pro-actively working towards this Government's policy of "local solutions to meet local needs".

You are also to be commended for your active support of whanau, hapü and iwi Mäori development and I acknowledge your commitment to continuing to focus on the wellness of Mäori as the driving force behind these developments.

In supporting whanau, hapü and iwi in this way, recognising mana whenua – you are playing your part in creating and affirming an inclusive society rich with diversity.

I wish you all well in your new service venture and formally launch MOKO: Mäori Mental Health Service.

Tena tatau katoa.

ENDS

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