Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri - Celebrating 20 Years
Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister for Health
Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri - Celebrating 20 Years
War Memorial Conference Centre, Napier
Tēnā koutou katoa.
Ki ngā kuia me ngā koroua o Ahuriri, tēnā koutou.
Ki ngā whānau me ngā hapū o Ahuriri, tēnā koutou katoa.
Ki te Poari Matua me ngā kaimahi o Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri, tēnā koutou. Otirā ki a tātou te hunga ora, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.
I am so very pleased to be here at this wonderful celebration of two decades of dedication.
There is nothing more uplifting than to look around this room at the past board members and trustees, current board members and staff, health professionals, legal and financial advisors and friends of Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri.
All of us have heard the call to celebrate the difference made in this rohe by the efforts of Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri. I am proud to be here tonight and I am proud of you.
This organisation has spread the net wide across this rohe - a net which has within its reach tamariki, mokopuna, rangatahi, kuia and koroua – it’s all about whānau.
When I look at Maari, I am reminded of Māori Affairs. I want to honour the work you and others have done to make Whānau Ora happen. The net you have cast for the last twenty years has provided an extensive range of health, education and social services to your whānau.
Whether it be Doing it Daveda’s way – Oranga Niho with a giant set of interactive molars and waiata to match, the Ahuriri Flyers taking on IronMaori as a collective or the Healthy Lifestyles Clinic, your emphasis has been consistently focused on supporting whānau to live well, to live strong.
And I want to say to you all that you should be proud of all you have achieved.
Because I tell you this – you must have been serving your whānau well for you to still be here twenty years on.
We all know the changes that have occurred in the health sector over this while and the toll that change can sometimes take on an organisation. The healthcare environment is complex and dynamic. It is fast-paced, and susceptible to policy change and redirection. You have shown an ability to adapt to these changes whilst still delivering continuity in services.
You are to be celebrated tonight. 20 Years. Sad to say lots of others were not able to survive the changes. You have not only survived – you have grown and thrived – and that is because the people for whom you have provided support believe in what you are doing here.
So let’s just unpack that a little bit more.
In 2014 you have acquired a reputation as a significant provider of health, social and disability support services.
You have actively supported whānau with tamariki and rangatahi in decile one and two schools and lower socio-economic communities across the bay.
Your teams have travelled throughout Napier - from Mahia in the North, to Takapau in the South and right throughout Central Hawkes Bay.
All up the numbers are really impressive - a staff of over forty, delivering a range of services to over 7900 registered clients and providing health services to over 2,000 students
But high volumes and extensive services on their own don’t account for the success you have experienced.
What is it that has made the difference?
I don’t think we have to look further than the two amazing powerhouse women who have been with you from the start - two visionaries who dared to dream and make things happen.
So tonight is a wonderful occasion to mihi to Te Maari Joe – your Chairperson and Audrey Robin – your Chief Executive – for the outstanding and sustained contribution you have both made since the earliest of days.
Twenty years ago Te Kupenga was contracted to deliver one programme – vision and hearing tests in six kōhanga reo in Napier.
In a small rented office in Owen Street there were two part-time staff, a volunteer manager, one filing cabinet, two chairs and a single desk that the two staff shared. I have to tell you it’s like my own experience back home.
What a long way you have come from those humble beginnings.
The leadership and dedication Marjorie and Audrey have provided the staff and wider organisation has been inspirational. And what’s more these two women are still fiercely dedicated to those original values, intent and kaupapa of the organisation from when it was first set up.
I read an article on your website in which Audrey explained the mahi you do, and I thought her words should be shared with us all: “We now call it Whānau Ora but it’s really just the way we do things as Māori. We listened to the members dreams and aspirations, moemoea around what they wanted for their whānau, tamariki and mokopuna.”
What listening meant for Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri was that the staff here started thinking about how to respond to all these moemoea – whether it be physical activity, general health, home insulation, diet and nutrition, family start or aukati kai paipa.
It may not be rocket science but actually the priority given to listening to whanau has been absolutely vital in your journey.
For the mission that Audrey and Marj have championed is the desire to make a difference to the health of the community at the grass roots level and address the health of whānau from a holistic Takitimu approach.
That’s all about listening, learning and enabling whānau to lead their own lives.
I often ask myself what happened to us along the way that we transferred all our responsibility to others outside of our whānau? At what point in our lives did that happen?
How do we return that self-belief and trust that once we had for ourselves the way our tīpuna did. They didn’t rely on others what they could do for themselves. We need to restore these practices to whānau and hapū.
That burning desire to confront issues within our whanau, to keep close and connected, to be masters of our own destiny.
And for twenty years Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri has sought to address not just physical health, but also mental health and wellbeing, active life-styles and supportive home environments, which extends way over and above individual service provision.
Because what you have been doing is responding to the needs of your communities by supporting them to increase their control over and improve their own health.
Putting it another way - if you have a leaky roof and there’s a cyclone approaching, we don’t want to rush out and stock up on buckets to catch the rain.
What we want to do is fix the leak in the first place – strengthen the structures, make the house strong, resilient, able to weather the storm.
Your support, your willing attitude for innovation, your commitment to collaboration, and the sheer determination of your team has facilitated the wellbeing of whānau who come within your net.
And finally, I want to just remember those who are with us in spirit – those champions and advocates who have been such strong supporters of Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri – and I am thinking in particular of our friend, the late Parekura Horomia who loved this organisation and would have wanted to be here tonight and the effervescent Meagan Joe. I am sure they are amongst us tonight.
A milestone like tonight is a really important juncture to think of our journey to today – and also the pathway forward, what the next twenty years will look like for Te Kupenga Hauora Ahuriri.
If there is one thing I can be sure of, is that if you remain true to the kaupapa of your organisation, as you have done since you opened the doors in 1994, then the whānau who call on you will be as well served then as they are today.
It’s really been a privilege to be here tonight and I thank Haami Hilton and Kahu Waitoa for your support. The welcome lifted my heart and my spirit as I prepare to say goodbye to you, as I won’t return here as a Minister. It has been a privilege to serve our people. I was fortunate to be voted in to Parliament and to be able to make a difference for our people. I am pleased to say our people always came first and I was able to be in Parliament to argue the case for you.
Thank you for tonight and the chance to be here to say goodbye. I congratulate each and every one of you for the wonderful journey you have been on and wish you a brilliant future ahead.