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Muriwhenua Wellbeing Festival – A Celebration Of The Turning Tide Of Health Reform In Te Hiku

As the inaugural Muriwhenua Wellbeing Festival kicks off tomorrow it marks another step towards supporting a healthier, thriving whānau living in Te Hiku.

The festival is one of 13 innovative initiatives being tested this year under the Taikorihi Locality – the population health prototype set up under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022 to influence and inform the future investment of public health in New Zealand.

Te Hiku Hauora is leading the co-ordination of the free admission festival, which will be held at the Te Ahu Centre in Kaitaia on Saturday 6 April from 10am to 1pm to see a number of providers and Te Hiku whānau come together to celebrate health and wellbeing.

Te Hiku Hauora CEO Maria Baker says there is a second festival in the planning for further in the year, but Saturday’s event is aimed at connecting whānau to local primary health services and resources in Te Hiku that focus on hauora and wellbeing.

“This is about people in our community who are doing mahi on the ground that's focused on well-being. We're really looking forward to who we have coming and just being able to get some learnings at the end about how we can work better with each other to support each other to be able to be available to the community,” she says.

The festival will feature a number of door prizes and giveaways on the day as whānau are invited to come and kōrero with their local providers about their whānau hauora needs.

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Taikorihi Locality Manager JJ Ripikoi says the festival has come out of whānau voice that was captured prior to Taikorihi forming its four priority focus areas, including hauora (primary health care and access), taitamariki and mental health, Māmā and pēpi wellbeing and whare āhuru (housing).

“Although we have a reasonably good range of services and supports accessible in Te Hiku, one of the consistent messages that whānau have always said is that they don’t know what’s available to them or where to go to help. The Muriwhenua Wellbeing Festival is a great starting point to get whānau back in touch with our providers and seek help for their specific needs right there,” he says.

Maria adds that Te Hiku Hauora is exploring what the festival planned for the second half of this year can feature.

“With the second one, we want to draw on the learnings in how we are collectively working together. We're really looking forward to different ope and community-based groups that are doing rongoā Māori, kaupapa Māori and many others in this first festival. This is not just the dominant mainstream construct about services and social services, this is a celebration of all hauora,” she says.

For more information on the Muriwhenua Wellbeing Festival 2024, head to

For more information on Taikorihi and the Pae Ora health reforms, visit

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