Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Speech: Turia - Turama Health and Disability Conference

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Health

Thursday 13 September 2012 SPEECH
[CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY]

Speech to Turama Health and Disability Conference
The Dream Centre, 3 Lakewood Court, Manukau City, 9.30am

Kia orana, tena koutou katoa,

It is a pleasure to be here and to be a part of your conference today.

Ko wai ahau? Ko au ko te awa, ko te awa ko au – I am the river and the river is me.

Ko wai ahau? He uri o Ngati Apa, Nga Wairiki, Nga Rauru, no Whanganui, no Tuwharetoa

Ko wai ahau? Ko Tariana Turia ahau, a daughter, a mother, a grandmother, and a great grandmother.

And I thank you for inviting me to this conference, and to be amongst you as you look towards the future, and start to shape a vision for your whanau.

I would like to acknowledge the Cook Islands Health Network Association for hosting this visionary hui; and our former Cook Islands Prime Ministers who are amongst us here today, Dr. Joseph Williams, and Dr. Robert Woonton.

I would also like to acknowledge the late Sir Terepai Maoate who I understand will be awarded the Cook Islands Excellence Award posthumous tonight. He made a huge contribution to healthcare, and was a staunch advocate of economic development and education as means of addressing the health status of Cook Island and Pasifika people.

It is an approach that I and many others believe in, and is the basis for Whanau Ora, the policy for which I am now Minister.

You have asked me to talk a bit about my role as a Minister, and while I wear many hats, the primary role I have as Minister for Whanau Ora is about wellbeing, and specifically whanau wellbeing.

Long before Whanau Ora was a policy, or a Ministerial portfolio – it was a philosophy that was born in our communities. The philosophy is based on the understanding that in order to create sustainable wellbeing, we must look not at individuals, but strengthening whole families. It recognises the basic principle that as collectives, whanau have strength – and we must work in a way which reminds people of that, and further empowers our families to do what they are there to do – and that is take care of each other.

What does whanau wellbeing look like? To be honest with you I think that is for each whanau to define for themselves. It is for each whanau to define their own aspirations, to chart their own pathways, and to determine their own future.

I see my role, and our role as a wider community to support whanau to dream, and to empower them to be able to achieve those dreams.

I love the title of your conference “Turama” – to shine. And I think that is a worthy aspiration for us, as champions for whanau wellbeing.

I am sure you know that our reo is very similar to yours, our word for shine is “Tirama” and today my mind turns back to an old Maori song, and its lyrics:

Tiramarama mai ra e, te whetu Tawera
Te karere o te ao, haehae mai ra i te po
Ka marama ko te ao

Tawera (or Venus), the morning star shines brightly,
The messenger of light, carving through the night
Bringing light to the world

My vision for our whanau is that they do take their place as the guiding light for the development of our nation. Like the star Tawera, our whanau should be strong, vibrant, with hopes and aspirations so bright that they transform the future of our tamariki.

That is my vision for our families, and that to me is what Whanau Ora is about. Of course each ‘star’ will chart its own path – and that is exactly how it should be. They should be the shining light on their own future, taking control of their own path, rather than allowing others to determine that for them.

There are a number of organisations who support this vision, in fact many our Maori and Pacific providers agree with this approach, and do work with our whanau in an empowering way. The difficulty however, is that we have never seen appropriate investment in these groups to support the wonderful work that they do.

Of course, we could spend our time focusing on the failures of the past, but we are here today to look towards the hope that lies in our future. The turning of the tide is an apt theme for this year, and I think that the only people that can truly turn the tide for you, is your own. Our whanau and our communities must be leading the change we seek to see in ourselves, and in this country.

My husband and I have had a love affair with the people of the Cook Islands for many years. We all know that there is a link between the Maori from here, and the Cook Island Maori – so perhaps that is why we forge such close ties between our peoples.

When we were young, growing up in Whanganui, we were very close to the Cook Island community who would often remark that ‘Turia’ is a Cook Island Maori name. And so they claimed us and would look after us, even though we found out that our Turia comes from here, and our tupuna in Aotearoa.

Around that time, we also had two young boys from the Cooks who lived with us for a while, their names were Tereki Cowan and Teupoo Bates. They become a part of our whanau, and we just adored them. And the rest as they say, is history.

So when Teupoo moved back to the Cook Islands, my husband would go over there every three or four years or when we had saved up enough money to go across.

Having visited your kainga over many years, which is a beautiful and peaceful place, one of the saddest things I noticed were the changes over time.

In the 60s and 70s everything looked to me to be intact, you could see the way of life was heavily influenced by your Maori culture, and the feel and flow of the islands reflected that.

These days the place has totally transformed.

It really made me think that nothing ever prepares us for the invasion of another culture.

We, your whanaunga here in Aotearoa have experienced the same thing with the colonisation of Aotearoa.

It is a huge change that has swept over our lands – and we share that story with our other whanaunga across the Pacific.

Progress creates such a big change for us that we have to be careful how we navigate through it. Our history has been fraught with loss and struggle, but we are survivors. And as we look into the future, we are in a place where we can have more control over how change happens, how it affects us as communities and whanau to ensure that we remain healthy, strong, and culturally intact.

That is the challenge that I think we are looking at now. When we talk about ‘turning the tide’ we are not only engaging in health, we are looking deeply into the root causes of the issues that face our whanau, and we are engaging in change across a range of fronts. That means looking at social change, it means addressing economic development, and education, and it means promoting our unique cultural views and finding a place for them in a society which is largely mono-cultural.

That is the challenge before us all. And I hope that during this conference you will come up with some ways that we can work together to address these issues, and to empower our whanau – so that the vision of ‘Turama 2020’ can come to fruition.

Tena koutou katoa

________________________________________


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news