Regional | Health

Iwi-led initiative to receive health award

Te Kāika, an iwi-driven health and social service hub is to receive the Dame Tariana Turia Award at the Toitu Hauora Leadership Summit this month.

The award recognises the significant contribution organisations give to Whānau Ora and whānau-centered-practice.

Founding director Donna Matahaere-Atariki says, “I am humbled and thrilled because it is specifically a Whānau Ora approach that will continue to drive the ethos or kaupapa of Te Kaika,"

Te Kāika is a partnership between Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora, Ōtākou Rūnanga and the University of Otago which was established to provide primary health care, GP services, and dental services.

The hub also provides clinical teaching facilities for students studying medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and physiotherapy.

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu (the South Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency) provided funding for start-up and infrastructural costs, while Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu also strongly supported the project.

Te Kāika’s purpose is to cater to low-income families and, with a client list of nearly 6,000 people, they are looking at expanding with the purchase of two existing clinics by the end of the year.

Matahaere-Atariki says, "It is focused on providing an integrated model of primary care to enhance well-being."

The Toitu Leadership Summit, jointly hosted by Te Rau Matatini and the Henry Rongomau Bennett Foundation, aims to grow Māori leadership in health by providing a space for existing and emerging Māori health leaders to work together.

The summit is taking place in the South Island for the first time and will be held in Dunedin from September 3-4.