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New Manager In Pacific Health

6 August 2002

New Manager In Pacific Health

Tupu Araiti, Health Secretary for the Cook Islands, has been appointed the Ministry of Health's Pacific Health Manager.

Deputy Director-General Public Health Dr Don Matheson is delighted Mr Araiti, a Cook Islands Maori, will be joining the Ministry.

"Mr Araiti is a respected Government official who has held numerous positions of responsibility in this country as well as the Cook Islands. He has an impressive background in finance and accounting and between 1998 and 2000 was Deputy Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management in the Cook Islands."

"His wide range of skills and international experience will be of great benefit to the Ministry of Health and the people of New Zealand."

Other roles held by Mr Araiti include Executive Officer at New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs and Budgets Officer for the former Wellington Area Health Board.

Speaking from the Cook Islands, Mr Araiti said he was looking forward to returning home to Wellington after six years in the Cooks.

"Wellington is also home for me, particularly as my wife Karen was born and bred in the capital. Our four children aged seven to 23 are looking forward to moving back."

"It will be so nice to be close to friends and family we have missed during our time away. I am also looking forward to the continued pursuit of my interest in rugby, touch rugby and soccer at various levels once back in New Zealand."

Mr Araiti, who completed an MBA at Massey University in 1994, said he was pleased to be appointed to the position and looked forward to working with the public health sector to protect and improve the health of all New Zealanders.

"I particularly look forward to ensuring health services are directed at areas of significant need, particularly Pacific Island peoples. There is no denying the statistics that show more Pacific Island people are more prone to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. I want to work to ensure we harness current resources and develop new methods for improving the well-being of Pacific Island peoples."

As Secretary for the Cook Islands Ministry of Health Mr Araiti reports to the Minister of Health and Cabinet. Mr Araiti said he leaves the Cook Islands with sadness but also satisfied with having worked successfully to introduce reform within the public sector during the reforms of 1996.

During his term as Secretary of Health he has seen the establishment of a strong executive team which has been fundamental to bringing about far reaching and much welcomed change within the Ministry.

"Change management adopted a client focus and partnerships with the local community and within the region. The Middlemore Hospital Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2001 was one resulting development."

Mr Araiti's role as Pacific Health Manager will see him responsible to Dr Matheson, supported by Ministry Director of Public Health Dr Colin Tukuitonga.

Mr Araiti joins the Ministry of Health on August 15.


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