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Tariana Turia: Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority PHO

The Hon Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru


Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority PHO

Thursday 24 November 2011; 10am

[Delivered by Te Ringa Te Awhe, on behalf of Minister Turia]

No record of Te Oranganui could begin without cherishing the legacy of our Morehu kuia o te awa, Te Manawanui Pauro, our beloved Nanny Nui.

Whether she was tending the soil in her lush gardens of home at Kaiwhaiki or paddling the lengths of te awa tupua, Nanny Nui was the epitome of the guiding principle she gifted to Te Oranganui – absolute wellness for the people.

She lived a rich and stimulating life until the ripe old age of 103; she nurtured our souls with her knowledge of ancient karakia; she sustained our spirit with her staunch presence at Pakaitore and her advocacy in setting up Awa FM; and she would remind us all to come together; to be proud of the very essence of who we are.

She would tell us, ?kaua koe e korero mo te awa; engari korero ki te awa’ (don’t talk about the river; talk to the river).

And so today, as we celebrate Te Oranganui, let us spare some time to reflect on Nanny Nui and the values and traditions she expressed as the marks of a life well lived.

There is no greater work that can be done, than to strengthen our tinana; nurture our wairua; stimulate our hinengaro; uplift our whanau. What you are doing here at Te Oranganui is fundamentally about revitalising the sense of being alive; it is about making a difference to the health and wellbeing of the Whanganui, Ngati Apa and Nga Rauru ki Tahi communities.

And I am so proud of the progress you have achieved; the momentum you have gained over the last 25 years of development and services.

The scope of your work is now extensive - spanning across a broad spectrum of needs in community health, education and social services, kaupapa Maori approaches, clinical skills, policy development, training and professional development.

It is indeed the ultimate representation of the One-Stop-Shop, offering everything from a liquid nitrogen clinic; to rent-a-turu; to discrimination and destigmatisation programmes. There is support for independent living; programmes to quit smoking; and an over-riding emphasis on tamariki ora, whanau ora.

Te Oranganui models its services and its philosophy on a recipe for healthy living; the prescription for wellness across the generations.

And what I love most about Te Oranganui is your upfront stance about what it is that will keep us well.

The founding statement puts the case clearly: Te Oranganui Iwi Health Authority is a leading healthcare provider delivering a quality service contributing to the mana motuhake of whanau, hapu, iwi and other peoples.

And it is as good a time as any to remind ourselves what mana motuhake is truly about. Contrary to recent events, it is something more than a slogan on a tshirt, or an association with anger, with protest, with conflict.

And I want to refer to some thinking outlined by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal about the notion of Mana motuhake; to see the world as Maori wish to, to design and implement cultural institutions, tangible and intangible as Maori see fit.

Most translations of the term ?mana’, a concept that is central to the Maori worldview, tend to employ terms such as authority and power.

Mana, however, is more akin to being and includes concepts such as dignity, inner authority and others such as self-worth and self-esteem.

A person of mana is one who possesses a state of being and self-knowledge that makes them a vital and active presence in the world, acting with surety and clarity in the handling of their affairs. A person of mana is one who is creatively inspired by an inner stillness, a security of knowing, by which that person moves in a calm and peaceful way throwing the chaos of the world into sharp relief.

Mana is therefore central and critical to Maori thinking, experience and Maori survival for the presence of mana is a singularly defining feature of Maori health and well-being.

I am thankful for organisations such as Te Oranganui, who help us to focus our aspirations on that drive for inner stillness; to know that all is right in our world; to hold strong to hope; to have a faith that our tikanga and our kaupapa provide in themselves a pathway for future generations to follow.

Te Oranganui, in your practice and your approach, inspire in us the confidence to believe in our own selves; to look at our own histories and tribal archives, to refresh our thinking by grounding ourselves in our solutions.

My greatest fear is that some of our people are swept into focusing on all that is wrong with the world and they lose sight of the essential strength, and resilience and potential that is found in every whanau; across every hapu; demonstrated by every iwi.

Te Oranganui has always challenged those who would rather dwell on the deficits to instead lift our sights and try to focus on a greater goal; the collective health and wellbeing of the people.

It is about having self-belief; having control over our lives, being self-determining; driven by our own aspirations and ambitions.

There is no greater time than now than to think about our destiny going forward.

There will always be some who advocate for the hand of the state to lift us out of despondency, to feed our kids; to take care of our children; to be the great provider.

I reject this thinking in the strongest possible way.

Te Oranganui represents a journey that we have all been on – to know that no Government, no agency of the state, no school, no health service can ever replace the vital strength of our whanau.

This is the mindshift we must continue to embrace; to move from the glass half empty; to instead focus on the glass half full - the potential and the strength we possess within.

And so, finally, I look back at the experience we have had with Te Oranganui; to pay tribute to your vision; and the work you have done.

Even thinking back over this last year –your research project on whanau resilience; the Whanau Ora Workforce Development pilot; the Whanau Ora service delivery pilot and last but not least the Maori Television series on Whanau Ora - Hauora a Iwi – it is all sending a very clear, consistent and compelling message about whanaungatanga; about tino rangatiratanga; about whakapiripiri whanau.

And importantly, you have invested in the greater good of whanau, hapu and iwi at all levels. You have placed priority on mothers and pepi as strengthening the foundation of whanau. You set up a medical centre in Waverley / Nga Rauru and have rolled out a Virtual IT system to ensure that everyone has access to your leadership.

And you have launched the unique indigenous tohu on behalf of Nga Rauru, Ngati Apa and Whanganui, to honour your own knowledge and expertise.

I am so proud of the energy and enthusiasm you have exhibited for Whanau Ora. I love the commitment that I see coming out of this organization, towards charting your own future; and I congratulate everyone involved on a fabulous quarter century of achievement and of learning.

And my final message to us, comes again from the inspiration of Nanny Nui: ?korowaitia te puna waiora’ – let us always immerse ourselves in working towards a vision of wellness and wellbeing for our whanau as the driving force in our lives.

Tena tatou katoa

Authorised by Tariana Turia, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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