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Cancer Control Agency Receives Māori Name

The national Cancer Control Agency, established in December last year, has  been gifted a new Māori name.

The name Te Aho o te Kahu is being gifted to the Cancer Control Agency by Dame Naida Glavish and Matua Gary Thompson from Hei Āhuru Mōwai, Māori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa. The new name was formally gifted to the Cancer Control Agency today at a ceremony at Parliament hosted by the Minister of Health.

The name, meaning ‘the central thread of the cloak," was developed in response to feedback from people living with cancer and whānau. They called for an agency that can unite the often disjointed and inequitable cancer care system.

Gary Thompson, Deputy Chair of Hei Āhuru Mōwai, says, “Whānau wanted a name that meant hope, kotahitanga and warmth. They were also clear they didn't want the Māori name to have the word cancer in it, so after many wānanga the ingoa Te Aho o te Kahu was chosen.”

The Cancer Control Agency was set up to unite and lead cancer control efforts in Aotearoa and Dame Naida Glavish from Hei Āhuru Mōwai says, “It’s pleasing to see how the Agency is being pono to the name already. During the COVID-19 lockdown the Agency worked with Hei Āhuru Mōwai to bring together a range of experts from across the motu to help whānau.”

Cancer Control Agency CE, Professor Diana Sarfati says, “The gifting and receiving of the name is symbolic of the Cancer Control Agency’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to equity. It is also a signal of the Agency’s commitment to uniting all stakeholders along the cancer continuum.”

The formal gifting of the name has oati (pledges) attached to it to ensure the name, its mauri and mana are always respected.

Te Aho o te Kahu will now be the primary name of the Cancer Control Agency.


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