Trinity Wharf Hotel, Tauranga

Friday 30 September 2016

2:00 pm – 5:30 pm

It is an honour being here today to witness kotahitanga in action – Māori and Pākehā coming together for the common good of this district’s senior citizens.

 At the centre of this launch today, is a value that strikes to the heart of Māori. 

That is the care and respect of our:

  • Cultural repositories
  • The caretakers of our marae
  • The leaders of our whānau
  • The teachers of our mokopuna 

 They are ones who walk before us – our kuia and koroua.


I want to mihi to all the people and organisations here today who have made Te Whakareia Bay of Plenty Community Health Alliance possible. 


  • Ngāti Ranginui Iwi and Tawharangi Nuku
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi and Charlie Tawhiao
  • Te Puna Ora o Mātaatua and Fiona Wiremu; and 
  • Whaioranga Trust 

You bring to this alliance intergenerational and intimate expert knowledge of your respective whānau, hapū and iwi. You understand the importance of taha tinana, taha wairua, taha hinengaro and taha whānau. You have followed your people from the cradle to the grave. No one knows your communities better than you. 


  • Healthcare New Zealand and the Rt Hon Wyatt Creech

 You’ve been delivering homecare services throughout the country for 28 years and I salute you for seeing the value of partnering with iwi. If more organisations like yours did that, I have no doubt we would see remarkable things happen in the collective health of this nation. 


  • The MP for Bay of Plenty, Todd Muller

 This is a great initiative that you and I can both be proud of as the Members of Parliament for this area.


  • Bay of Plenty District Health Board and Sally Webb

For supporting a new approach to the delivery of a major contract, which I’m sure will support the DHB to achieve its vision of ‘healthy and thriving communities.’

I acknowledge you all for responding to the karanga of our kuia and the kōrero of our koroua with a trailblazing partnership model that:

  • Builds on the Whānau Ora approach; 
  • That brings together Māori and non-Māori health providers
  • That transcends traditional sub-contracting models; and that
  • Upholds the mana of all parties



I want to talk about the roles of kaumātua in today’s world which I’m hoping will reinforce just how important they are to us. 

Contemporary kaumātua have a very different role today compared to the days of their grandparents. No longer does the role just involve taking care of their whānau and their marae.

Treaty of Waitangi settlements over the past 20 years, have added to the work kaumātua do. 

Once they were:

  • Kaikōrero
  • Kaikaranga
  • Waiata tautoko  
  • Teachers of kawa; and the
  • Holders of whakapapa

Today they are still that but for many of them the role also includes:

  • Decision makers on post settlement governance entities
  • Directors of tribal asset holding companies; and 
  • Advisors to local councils and government departments

 I think about my elders in Te Arawa and Ngāpuhi. 

While they may have retired from the jobs that they fed their families on, there’s no retiring from the affairs of their iwi. 

They’re a busy lot attending hui after hui and wānanga after wānanga.  

I think we all know at least one kaumātua like this. 

We love them for their unwavering passion and dedication, for being there when our babies are born and when we have tangihanga, but we also worry about the toll their cultural duties are having on their health. 

We also have kaumātua who chose not to be trustees or directors; who invest most of their time in their mokopuna. And that’s a beautiful thing.

My kuia was one of them.



So today, Te Whakareia Bay of Plenty Health Alliance has been given a mandate to work with our kaumātua and their whānau, on a scale bigger than ever before.  

Māori people are particularly suspicious when government cars, strange cars, pull up in their drive way. So it is an honour when they open their doors to services like this.  

We know that most kaumātua, stay clear of rest homes, and that they prefer to be cared for in their own whare.

We also know that the realities of work commitments, means that their families can’t be there for them 24/7 and that they will need the support of services like yours. 

I know you will approach this work remembering that whānau must be in the driver’s seat and that when whānau and organisations like yours work together, the results can be amazing. 



One of the most unique features of this joint venture alliance is that all parties have equal status regardless of market share. 

In other words, everyone has the same participating interest. 

Te Whakareia represents an innovation – a partnership model between Māori and Pākeha with potential relevance to other sectors.  

It recognises the value and impact of seamless and culturally appropriate home community support services for Māori in the Bay of Plenty District Health region.


I am committed to increasing the support available to whānau and families to achieve their goals through Whānau Ora.

This includes goals relating to healthy lifestyles, becoming employment ready and connecting with their wider whānau. 

Today I am proud of the iwi and Pākehā gathered here today who have created an alliance to support families in this district achieve Whānau Ora.

I am proud of you because in a sector where patch protection can be common, you see the bigger picture.

You see that the kaupapa of caring for our kaumātua, that the kaupapa of addressing the health disparities between elderly Māori and non-Māori in this district, is much bigger than any single provider. 

Manaakitia mai ā tātou kaumātua, ngā kaiārahi i ā tātou tamariki, i ngā mokopuna me te iwi (look after our elders, the counsellors of our children, grandchildren and the people). 

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa.

Authorised by Susan Cullen, 5 Gala Street, Waihōpai