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Te Kōhao Health Marks 25 Years of Advancing Human Rights

Te Kōhao Health Marks 25 Years of Advancing Human Rights & Wellbeing of Māori
“Believe in Yourself - Whānau Deserve the Best”

Twenty five years of advancing the human rights and the wellbeing of thousands of whānau will be celebrated tomorrow by Te Kōhao Health, before Kiingi Tuheitia, his wife Makau Ariki Atawhai and a collective of special guests including keynote speaker, New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon.

When reflecting on the legacy of late Te Uranga o Te Rā Wikuki and Evelyn (Tuss) Kingi who first planted the seed for Te Kōhao Health, Managing Director Lady Tureiti Moxon says the vision has always been to uphold ‘mana motuhake’ - Māori determine their own wellbeing outcomes.

“Our dream of Māori taking control of their own health drives us. ‘By Māori for Māori’ works for everyone,” she says.

“This approach is successful and sustainable because Māori are respected and valued. We’re giving our people access to health and every other service that they’re locked out of. A stand-alone Māori Authority is next on our wish-list in the near future.”

The Waitangi Tribunal agrees. In July it released the historic Hauora Report saying, “the demand for structures and services that are ‘by Māori, for Māori’ across all sectors of social service design and delivery will not diminish – it will only increase in years to come.”

It went on to recognise Te Kōhao Health as a “Māori health expert” and made recommendations for the Crown to co-design a new primary health system framework with Lady Moxon and other claimants to meet the needs of Māori.

Lady Moxon says some of the biggest lessons she’s learnt at Te Kōhao Health have been centred in self-belief.

“Believe in yourself as Māori because Māori whānau deserve the best health, education, social, employment and justice services on offer.”

The implementation and collective impact of Whānau Ora empowering whānau has been incredibly powerful to witness in action Moxon says. So has advancing the two Wai 1315 and the Wai 2575 Waitangi Tribunal claims that have set a precedent in human rights addressing Māori health inequities.

“What we’re seeing is whānau reach amazing heights in education, employment and in their health. We’ve built our Whānau Ora Centre, provided GP clinics, a pharmacy, plus healing and rongoā services that we own and operate ourselves.
This is in addition to establishing our Kohungahunga and Puna Reo.”
Continuing to enable Māori leadership across all sectors is the future focus she says.

“We’re building a Wellness Centre for screening whānau and providing more total immersion early learning centres alongside continuing to advocate for tino rangatiratanga of hauora Māori as part of our pursuit of health equity.”
Mayor Paula Southgate, Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha, MP’s, Iwi and community leaders, former and current staff will gather at Le Grand Hotel, 237 Victoria Street in Hamilton from 5.30pm for the official 25th Anniversary Celebration. ENDS

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