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Poroporoaki: Dr Paratene Ngata

Poroporoaki: Dr Paratene Ngata
Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party; Associate Minister of Health
Tuesday 13 January 2008

“Aotearoa has lost a leading light, in the passing of Dr Pat Ngata” said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.

“Paratene Ngata has been at the forefront of public health advocacy since his graduation from Otago Medical School in 1970” said Mrs Turia. “His impact in influencing the nature of Maori healthcare has been profound”.

“Dr Pat believed that Maori should determine our own solutions to achieve the health gains we are all looking for”.

“And so in 1984, he along with Eru Pomare, Lorna Dyall, George Salmond and Mason Durie, initiated Hui Whakaoranga which has been described as "the most important Maori health initiative since the days of Apirana Ngata and Peter Buck”.

“That burning passion for Maori public health driven by Dr Pat was recognised last year by the GPs College, when they commended Dr Pat for his incredible leadership in “growing your own” – his quest to encourage, nurture and mentor Maori students in health”.

“I remember first meeting Dr Pat when I was a young nurse at Whanganui Hospital and being filled with pride about this young Maori doctor who was an absolute inspiration then as he continued to be throughout his life in so many areas”.

“Dr Pat has also played a significant role as a cause champion to end violence in our families and communities” said Mrs Turia. “Over twenty years ago he recognised his own violence, and promised that he would raise his sons to be ‘gentle’ men – as indeed they are now. (His son, Haimona Ngata, one of New Zealand’s top freestyle BMX riders, fronts the ‘it’s not ok’ national campaign against family violence).

“Indeed so dedicated was Dr Pat to his work as a change advocate, that he left instructions that at his tangihanga, people are asked to wear the white ribbon as a symbol of their enduring commitment to peace and whanau ora”.

“The Maori Party expresses our sincere condolences to the people of Ngati Porou, Te Aitanga a Hauiti and Ngati Ira, to his wife Ngaroma, his four sons and his greater whanau, who mourn the loss of a truly gentle-man; an inspiration to the motu; and a man greatly loved by his whanau”.

“I remember reading once, that despite being ahead of his time in terms of the huge achievements he earnt, Dr Pat’s definition of a perfect day for him was “a smile, a laugh and a happy face”.

“Thank you, Dr Pat, for giving that to us all”.

Awards and Achievements
General Practitioner, Uawa
Distinguished Fellow, Royal NZ College of General Practitioners, 2008
Honorary Doctor of Laws, Otago University 2004
Ngati Porou Achievement Award, 2000
Public Health Champion of the Year; 2000
Marire Goodall Award, Te Ora, 1997 (Maori General Practitioners Group)
Director of the Midland Regional Health Authority 1991-1995
Trustee of the NZ Institute of Rural Health
Trustee of Hauora.com
MBChB 1970; Dip ComH 1982


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