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Congratulations Kelly Pohio

Ko Horouta te waka

Ko Hikurangi me Mangahauini ngā maunga

Ko Waiapu me Waipaoa ngā awa

Ko Ngāti Porou me Te Aitanga a Mahaki ngā iwi

Ko Kelly Pohio taku ingoa

Tell us about your recent tohu and how it applies into your current mahi as a Kaiarahi for Horouta Whānau Ora?

I completed a 4 year course with Te Wananga o Aotearoa Ngā Poutoko Whakarara Oranga - Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work. This is the acknowledgement of Māori and non Māori knowledge and learning to apply Māori and non-Māori models and ideologies when working alongside whānau and other social services to support reaching or achieving the best outcome.  It is vital that we are aware of legislation, processes, policies relevant to any given kaupapa allowing us to hold all stakeholders accountable (in a respectful way).  Furthermore, it allows for advocation.  The past 4 years have allowed me to take a good look at myself and to understand why I do the things I do or don’t and to identify my biases.  Awareness of oneself supports practice that is non judgemental giving whānau the opportunity to feel comfortable, to feel important, to feel listened and to feel safe when sharing their personal information, their situation and experiences.

My current role as a Horouta Whānau Ora Kaiarahi, I have been told is not really a Social Work role.  We support whānau to achieve dreams and aspirations through identifying goals and outcomes.  The knowledge I have learnt over the past 4 years most definitely benefits the way in which I engage with whānau and how we work together to achieve outcomes.  There are always opportunities to apply my Social Work knowledge while working in any space.  I think everyone is a Social Worker in one way or another, whether we have a tohu or not. Everyday life and the relationships we hold, provide us with many challenges, barriers and opportunities to navigate situations and to problem solve positive resolutions.

What do you enjoy most about your mahi?

I've always been a helper and I've always liked to help (Sometimes this gets me in to trouble-too much on my plate lol).  I think that's what I enjoy the most - when we're able to help whānau achieve an outcome, a goal, or an aspiration that they may have been trying to achieve for a long time, to transform them from one state to another is so rewarding.  This is not done alone – we have a fabulous team lead by strong management who support Kaiarahi to explore all possibilities with assisting whānau.

How do you look after yourself in your mahi which can be at times, heavy?

Being able to separate the two - when you come home, you need to leave mahi behind.  Easier said than done.  I make a point on my way home (which is usually at the Tikitiki sign), that I switch work off. When I come home, I'm home. Karakia is vital to begin and end the day.  An extra karakia too when heading into heavy whānau situations helps to protect my well-being physically, mentally and spiritually.  Riuriu wai after heavy situations – the washing away and leaving of hara behind so as to not carry it to the next place.

Supervision is really important. It's a space where you can learn new things and can identify where you might need to do things differently. It's a place where you can let it all out and be told what strategies or ideologies you can use to try and figure a problem out.  Peer supervision is valuable also to gain different point of view and if needed some honest truths.

Overall, returning home to my own whānau everyday is my safe space.  Caring for, nourishing for, and providing for is how I look after myself – knowing they are happy and pai makes me happy and pai 😊.

How and why did you get into Social Work?

I came from a kōhanga background having a passion for nurturing our babies.  You can see when a child’s home life impacts their behaviours and actions and we made it our responsibility to have those discussions with the parents in a way that does not make any given situation worse for the child but to offer support in a non blaming way.  Anne Huriwai, our former Office Manager at the Ruatoria Rūnanga, approached me to see if I was interested in working within a contract called Family Start. It was with Tuhono Whānau, a family-focused initiative, which I immediately embraced and was ready for change. Having experience with children and whānau from my time in kōhanga, made the transition smooth but this was a very challenging role.  Family Harm, Addictions, Relationship Issues, Poverty,  – for many of our whānau enjoying and supporting the learning and development of your child/ren was not the priority – surviving each day was.

Legislation mandated that every social work role can only be practiced by a qualified social worker or someone working towards their degree.  My work colleague and friend Kellyanne and I pursued studies at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. It was initially inconvenient due to other commitments, but eventually was welcomed because we were already practicing what we were learning.  The wānanga not only educated us on our history and cultural nuances but also provided us with the language that “named” our practices.  This was affirmation of our work alongside whānau building our confidence and hunger to learn more,  Despite the distance from home, having a study buddy like Kellyanne was invaluable. Our trips to Tauranga for noho sessions occurred eight times a year, on top of weekly classes and additional study hours, which was a juggling act alongside full-time work and family responsibilities.

As the workload piled up, I found myself focusing on completing one task at a time, unable to plan beyond the immediate deadlines. It was challenging, but as women, we're adept at getting things done. Towards the end, it felt like the universe was throwing barriers in my way making life increasingly difficult.  Focussing on the most urgent task, completing then moving on to the next is how I got through – which meant a lot of late nights, prioritising study and tasks before going to the rugby or the Waiapu RSA.

Do you have any acknowledgements?

I would like to acknowledge Anne Huriwai for planting the seed. Rina Elers, who at the time of my studies was the manager of Tuhono Whānau. Jeannete Johnson, the supervior at the time as well as Joan-Ella Ngata. Sharlene Connings was a Kaiāwhina and was very supportive, as well as Stacey Hohipa who had just started. The whole Ruatoria office at the Rūnanga where my journey started. If it wasn’t for all the people in that office at the time, I would not have had the confidence.

Former Horouta Whanau Ora Manager Peggy Maurirere Walker supported completion of my 3rd year placement creating Housing Portfolios which could be submitted to obtain housing funding.  Brendon Te Whana was my supervisor whose strength and practice was constructed from his ethical values and believes.  In my 4th year I completed my placement with Huarahi Pai Rehab Programme.  I would like to thank Anne Huriwai and Robyn Smith who was my supervisor during this placement.  Being apart of this programme allowed my to implement many models of practice both Māori and non-Māori to support providing a safe space for participants and facilitators.

Our previous and current Tronpnui CEO provided financial support for 2 years, study leave to attend noho and transport during this 4 year journey.  Without this support, I would not have been able to afford to study.

Our current Horouta Whānau Ora manager Hemoata Jahnke, and General Manager Curtis Bristowe and our team were with me at the finish line joining my whānau and I at my graduation in May of this year.  My team made me understand just how significant this achievement was making me feel valued and important.

My TWOA kaiako, Lina Rudolph, Reona Anderson, Liz Cook, Ruth Nuku-Stanshall and my fellow classmates – we were a class of over 20 to begin with and are class of 12 who graduated.

Last but certainly not least, my husband and my kids – the sacrifices they had to make in order for me to get to the finish line. They were glad to see me graduate. Now my husband is looking at what I can do next, but I better give them a years grace. I’d love to continue studying, it’s opened my eyes to what is in our grasps. Knowledge is power and is realised when it’s used to help others. I hope my tamariki will one day pursue knowledge through Wānanga or University. Higher learning is the way to go. If we nurture and nourish our children with these experiences from a young age, the hope will be realised.

What whakatauki do you live and work by?

The beautiful thing about whakatauki is that they can be translated in many different ways and depends on the person reading it. When I started my studies, we were asked the same thing, and I used to“treat others the way you would like to be treated.” This has become a value of mine which I live by.

Whakatauki we use and live by can change as we move through life.  They can inspire us to keep going, they can support awareness of what is going on in our lives and they can guide us to do better and be better at different stages of our lives.  I feel in the mahi I am doing at the moment, the whakatauki that has been of most value is “Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini” which is about working collaboratively. We have so many whānau struggling at the moment needing support.  There are so many Māori and non Māori in different organisations and services, that can improve the way in which we work together when supporting one or many whānau.  Communication, strong service relationships and the sharing of knowledge supports working collaboratively which will always be beneficial for whānau.

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Me he tē Helayna!

Congratulations Helayna!

Ruatoria Practice Nurse, Helayna Higgins, also known as Daisy to the community, has recently earnt her RNPCH tohu!

She can now assess and prescribe some medications over and above the current Standing Order medications that some nurses can currently issue, under the NZ Medicines Regulations for Designated Registered Nurses.

We got to meet with Daisy recently, to chat about how her mahi and journey towards becoming a Registered Nurse prescribing in community health.

Where did your nursing journey begin?

Growing up at home playing pretend with my sister, she would always be the teacher and I would always be the nurse. There's no other nurses in my whanau, there's doctors but no nurses, so it started there. I didn't want to work in the forces which if you go to school here, would be what they'd push you towards.

I left Ruatoria in 1987 to pursue a nursing career. All my nursing was in tertiary institutions. Returning home 15 years ago as a nurse was something I thought I would never do and came with challenges. Some people didn't (etc).  I have felt privileged to come home and work with my whanau and to give back to my community.

How do you find working in a rural setting?

Being isolated, that's the most challenging thing I have found working here. Having worked in hospitals all my life, where you're well supported and have access to clinicians, to then coming here and being so isolated, and at times, without doctors and having to run nurse-led clinics has been especially challenging.

What enticed you to go towards your RNPCH qualification?

I had a friend who had completed the course last year and she said I should look into it. I found that as my role as a Practice Nurse, I looked at the course as an opportunity to build on my knowledge as a Prescriber, and I could see the value this course would have, to fill my kete with more knowledge, allowing me to be a lot more accountable for my prescribing. It allows our patients to be able to access healthcare much better, be treated earlier and easier, and in turn improve their healthcare outcomes. Having this tohu certainly compliments my role as a Practice Nurse.

Do you have any acknowledgements?

I couldn't have done the nurse prescribing training without my colleagues and our doctors, especially Dr Elina Pekansaari. She was so supportive and believed that we could do it.

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Ka wani kē Tutira!

Recently achieving Registered Nurse Prescriber in Community Health (RNPCH) status, Ruatoria Practice Nurse, mama of 6 tamariki and loving partner to Manuel Hovell, Tutira Poi, can now assess and prescribe a limited number of medicines approved by the Nursing Council of NZ for minor ailments and illnesses in normally healthy people without significant health problems.

We were lucky enough to learn more about Tutira’s nursing journey and experiences during the RNPCH course.


Where did your nursing journey begin?

I think my nursing journey began in Rangitukia. I was still attending Ngata College and living with my grandparents. I remember my nan Harai Collier taking me with her to a Mirimiri Workshop/Wananga held at Ohinewaiapu and Hinepare Marae, she was like my patient where I learnt mirimiri techniques and the use of kawakawa rongoa. From then on, after school, I would mirimiri my nan on a daily basis, where she felt this improved her wellbeing. Nan would often say to me that I’d make a good nurse. I didn’t take that on until years later.

I finished high school and moved to Australia with friends where I worked at Bourke Hospital in the outback north west of Dubbo, then moving to Brighten-Le-Sands in Sydney, working in a rest home for a few years before I started my own family.

I then returned home to New Zealand, as I wanted to bring up my babies here. Now living in Gisborne, I decided to pursue my nursing career in 2008 at Tairawhiti Polytech UCOL (now EIT) and graduated with my Bachelors Degree in Nursing in 2011. I can say this journey was not easy, and was challenging especially studying with 4 kids at the time. I remember I just kept pushing through those tough times and persevered.

After graduating, I commenced the Nursing Entry to Practice (NETP) Program at Albert Park Rest Home in February 2011 until its closure, where I then transferred over to the newly built Beetham Healthcare in August 2011. I was one of the first nurses on night shifts to work there. Beetham will always have a special place in my heart, I loved working there. I remember returning home from New York Marathon, when the news about Covid first hit. I left Beetham to work for Ngati Porou Oranga at Te Puia Hospital CBAC, travelling daily from Gisborne to do Covid swabbing. Then my whanau decided to move home to live in the whanau home in Te Araroa. I started working at the Matakaoa Clinic as the Practice Nurse for about 2 years before moving over to work at the Ruatoria Clinic.


You know first hand what its like for whanau to travel- long lengths for healthcare. How do you find working in a rural setting?

It can be very challenging working in a rural setting. In town (Gisborne) you’ve got everything, whereas here on the Coast, us nurses are everything, we are basically it and hope for the best when we have no doctor onsite.


What drove you to complete the RNPCH course?

It was a last minute thing to jump on the course. It took me less than 6 months to complete. Being in the clinic with no doctor most of the time can be tough. I felt doing this course would enable me to prescribe when no doctor is available onsite. I don’t have to hoha the doctor onsite or phone to find a doctor at all the coast clinics to give me the ok to give patients something as simple as antibiotics.


Do you have any acknowledgements?

Heck yeah!

First, my parents who have always been supportive throughout my nursing career and are still supportive.

My nursing tutor Adriana Grogan who pushed me to complete my Bachelors Degree because I nearly gave up.

Nurse Practitioner Kylie Morressey who taught me catheter changes in the rest home.

PN Shirley Parata who orientated me to the Practice Nurse Role when I started at Matakaoa Clinic.

Kaiawhina Moko Williams who taught me how to do bloods. I was terrified at first and I was shaking, the patient was even laughing at me. I can still hear Moko telling me “You can do it Toots’’ lol. I'm now confident in this invaluable skill which isa must while on the Coast.

Dr Elina Pekansaari my GP mentor throughout my RNPCH course and still is. She is very knowledgeable, keeps up-to-date with best practice national guidelines, always putting things into words that we could easily understand. Dr Elina mentioned to me, I have the potential to go on to become a Nurse Practitioner. I can see a need for that on the Coast so am looking into it.

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Master's Graduate, Tibble Pou, on sharing her methodology with the iwi

Ko Hikurangi te maunga

Ko Waiapu te awa

Ko Hiruharama, Taharora, Karuwai me Te-Poho-o-Rawiri ngā marae

Ko Te Aitanga-ā-Mate, Te Whānau-ā-Rakairoa, Te Whānau-ā-Karuwai me Ngāti Oneone ngā hapū

Ko Nukutaimemeha te waka

Ko Porourangi te tangata, Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi

Ko Karaitiana Te Amotawa Tibble-Pou ahau

Ko Morgan Kaiaio Te Ehutu Tibble-Pou taku mātāmua kaingākau

Ko Arni Tuketenui Tibble-Pou taku pōtiki rakaraka


Congratulations on your recent tohu, Karaitiana! Can you please tell us what you have achieved and what that consisted of?

Te Hono ki Toi (Poutiriao) | Master of Professional Creative Practice. ‘Rukuhia Tō Ora’ was the name of my project which means dive into your own wellbeing. The famous waiata oriori, Kia Tapu Hoki Koe, composed by the ancestress, Hinekitawhiti, informed and inspired me to showcase an installation of tipuna photographs with silhouette paintings and holographic kapa performance work – collectively termed by the artist as, oriori tā-waiwaiā.


How was your journey towards your Master’s degree?

We had Gabrielle and we had COVID, so I’ve only just graduated from EIT Tairāwhiti Toihoukura this year. My tutor is in Hawkes Bay where the campus was flooded out during the cyclone, so graduation kept being pushed out. The effects here and the effects over there kept pushing it back. I was in my last year of my Master’s when I started [with Te Hiringa Matua] which worked out well.


Does your studies have any relevance to your day to day mahi?

This job was made for me. It kind of freaked me out how in line my methodology is with my mahi. I want to collect data to be able to use and push my methodology further. Oriori tā-waiwaiā helps me to process māmā [and actually pāpā as well] to help them express their deep and repressed emotions. It’s all about emotions, because a lot of the oranga in our whānau is based off when traumatic events happen, and then they let it sit there, and it never comes out or they don’t have the words to express what’s really sitting there so my methodology helps them bring it out without words. I call it Rongoā Māori because it’s Māori, and it’s my Rongoā.


What does your day to day mahi look like? Do you apply your methodology with clients and how receptive are they to it?

With the arts – we do a lot. How I run my sessions is that we sit and we kōrero. Nine times out of ten, I can feel that our whānau are feeling somewhat heavy, so I allow them to be a part of the process. A lot of people freak because they say they aren’t artists, but it’s not about the end result, it’s about the process. It’s how you manage yourself throughout the process. So I get them to jump on a canvas, and say “I’d like to express yourself based on the kōrero you just gave, with colour. So whatever colour resonates with whatever emotion for you, use it.” It’s about talking from the wairua and expressing yourself through colour because we are very good at controlling things, so I don’t like to let them draw an actual figure. A lot of people go inward, in to their mind and think “this is ugly” but it’s not about that, it’s about how you navigate yourself throughout the process. For example, I have a whānau that could only draw one line at a time. It took them ages to do one colour, one line, at a time. I said to them “I wonder what would happen if you grabbed another colour and went straight through it with a line in a different colour” which caused so much anxiety for them. What I learnt from this was that this person was quite OCD. I left the suggestion with them and walked away. After giving them some space, I returned to the canvas full of squiggles and they were just having the time of their lives. What it allows is for whānau to break out of the constraints of ‘everything has to be perfect’ or a certain way, and allowing your wairua to show you what’s happening at it’s purest form. Giving yourself permission to be okay with how everything falls, and allowing yourself to be your authentic self. Whānau can be scared at the start if they’ve never done anything with paint before, but eventually they get in to it. I think they like it because a lot of the time, whānau don’t have the words to share what they’re feeling, but you don’t have to tell me, I can read it from your painting just based on the colours you chose. I break it down to 7 sessions, where the first 3 are intimate so you can get an understanding of the process, and the last 4 sessions are open to more māmā. By then, they also understand that they’re learning how to process their art. ‘What do you feel when you used that colour, what do you resonate this colour with?’ Some even paint their feelings around their addictions and there’s so much joy there. It’s about allowing that mamae to come out so you’re not sitting in it. They can bring their whānau along as well. It is a māmā, pēpi methodology that I base my mahi off, but since writing it, I’ve learnt that it’s not just for māmā but also pāpā, whānau, etc. The point of it is to try find ways to heal your trauma without sex, drugs, and alcohol. Finding better ways to heal and look after yourself for your babies.

I’ve only been using oriori tā-waiwaiā here [at Te Hiringa Matua]. I’ve tried to use oriori to accompany [my mahi] but I’ve realised a lot of our whānau can’t go back past their grandparents. With oriori, you’re trying to liken your child to an ancestor, a chiefly ancestor. But a lot of our whānau struggle to go back. This was something that came up during my methodology. In some sessions, whānau and I have adapted after the realisation that whānau can’t go back to their illustrious ancestors. We go back to the grandparents they can name, so we can still go through the process and work around what they do know. A lot of it is disconnection.

I also do mirimiri and healing which I combine with the arts. It’s also mirimiri with kōrero, so I take my skills to the table. I’ve never had any training in that form, but I know what to say. I’ve had some characters come see me for mirimiri and their bodies tell me a lot about them without them having to say it. I’ve learnt to ask open ended questions to allow more kōrero to flow. For me, it’s all about mental clarity. To remove themselves from their turmoil, to stand back, and look from a different point of view. Some people can sit in their hara until they die, but we don’t need to. You just need to hongi your shadows. Stop, acknowledge your shadows, it brings you power to really see who you are – the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you can’t look at those parts of you, how are you supposed to find any oranga.

It also takes time. It takes building trust. If you don’t have trust, there’s no way of pulling down those barriers with whānau. Once they’ve got a gage of me through the first 3 sessions, they’re covered by light. Even if you come in here fuelled with darkness, they feel the light from me and I try to be that for them, and create a comfortable space. A lot of those barriers get broken down straight off the bat when you introduce yourself, it’s the whanaungatanga.

I’ve taken my art practice to Huarahi Pae. When you have an understanding on colour and how it transforms into emotion, I can read depths about what people have gone through, acknowledge them, allow them the space to actually talk about their shadows, the things that have hurt them, and apologising to them too. I’m not the person they want to hear it from, but at least someone has said it. Sometimes when I’ve said it, they’ve just broken down.


What inspired your methodology?

Before my studies, I already knew I loved art but I was disconnected, living in Australia. I decided to come home, had my oldest son, and was able to cross credit into the second year of Toihoukura because of my past studies at South Seas Film School. In my third year, it was COVID lockdown and I was pregnant. I finished off my Bachelor’s degree but it was hectic - I gave birth without my whānau because of the COVID lockdown. They had to see baby through a window for 7 weeks, and my big son was away from his brother and I. Afterwards, I went straight back into my studies and painting with baby in the front pack. That’s when I came up with the methodology.

If I can make it through some hellish times, how can I give that support I needed to our whānau. A lot of it is lived experiences. Healing and understanding the experiences that I went through, so I can use it to help whānau. I want whānau to see that if you put the effort and work in to who you are, and your oranga, you can be like me. I started my Bachelor’s in 2019, it’s now 2024, so if you think of it as ‘in 5 years you could be here.’ You could be living in hell right now, but it’s about having someone to help you through these spaces. I made this decision 5 years ago, and I’m finally standing on the other side thinking ‘who would have thought?’ It tells me I can make a goal in 5 years and I can attain it.

It’s a Master of Arts but I also feel it moves into wellbeing, and it’s all around Ngāti Porou knowledge. It’s all for our people. One of many tools for our whānau to use on their hauora journey. I went on this journey to become a better mum, a more present mum, a more healed mum, a more interactive mum, a more loving mum for my kids. Being there isn’t enough, it’s about being able to mirimiri our kids towards their full potential or to fufill what they’re in this lifetime to achieve. A lot of our kids are just existing, and we need to be more intentional.


How do you unwind from such big mahi?

I have my own process of how I cleanse myself, but in saying that, our whare can be heavy at times. Because I do what I do, I’ve practiced over the years ways of keeping myself clean and clear of the hara. People do think that because I’m so light, that I can’t handle the dark, but little do you know. I’ve done the work to allow my wairua to be light.


Do many of the whānau you work with uncover hara that they weren’t aware they even had?

Yes - so many light bulb moments, and they’re my favourite things to watch. When we’re doing these sessions, we allow space and time for people. If you’re feeling triggered, there’s always someone to speak to. One of our clients was getting mad because we had them painting rocks, and he just did not see the point. He got up, walked out, went for a smoke, then came back. We explained that it’s not about the end result of the painted rock, but the process and the way you control that situation. By walking away and taking the time to calm down instead of flipping the table -that’s something you can apply in your everyday life. Take a moment and walk away. How you deal with things in this activity, is how you would deal with it in real life. It’s confronting. Allowing them to feel it all. Confronting yourself and allowing yourself to go there. It’s only one tool in the grand scheme of things, but it’s another tool of healing. Giving them the tools to navigate hara. It’s your wairua telling you what you’re sitting with, now let it go.


Where do you see yourself going forward?

I want to do my PHD. I want to further my understanding of my methodology. I want to use it as it’s specific to Ngāti Porou, because of the referencing that I’ve used in my exegesis. I want to further it into the world, and have indigenous cultures use this methodology based on their art practices. I don’t just see it staying in Ngāti Porou or New Zealand. I’m excited that it was born in this space when I was working for my iwi. We’re a breakthrough space, leading a lot [in the health sector]. That’s what I like about finishing my Master's and already working for Ngāti Porou Oranga. That it’s somewhat been born at home. Within our services, within our iwi, used with our iwi first and then hopefully can be used as an example for other iwi and ethnicities.

I also want to get my tickets for mirimiri this year. I don’t have any but for me it’s Taonga Tuku Iho.


Any acknowledgements you’d like to make?

My tutor, Chris Bryant-Toi. I can’t thank him enough. I’m proud to have had him as my tutor - he climbed mountains to get us over the line.

To the whānau at Te Hiringa Matua - thank you for supporting me in the last few weeks of finishing my Master's.

To my good friend Leilani, to my friend Maiangi, to my cousin Crystal, to my cousins Bubba, Hekia, Renee and Tarsh, to my Nan Heni Karaitiana, to Aunty Ange, to Uncle Mark, to my sister Piata, and to my mum Rhonda Tibble*


*extracted from Tibble-Pou’s exergesis

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Puhi Kai Iti Nurses celebrated in latest EIT graduation

Ngāti Porou Oranga and Puhi Kai Iti Community Health Centre are proud to celebrate Nurses, Courtney Kururangi and Te Ara Priest, who graduated from EIT | Te Pūkenga Tairāwhiti on Friday 8 March 2024, at the War Memorial Theatre in Gisborne

We briefly caught up with the two in between patients, listening to their stories and journey towards grad!

Courtney Kururangi

Where did your nursing journey begin?

In 2020, I did the Foundation (Study and Career Prep) Course. It helps prepare you for school again, e.g. how to write an essay or reference. It was a good starting point. 2021, I began the Bachelor of Nursing degree at EIT Tairāwhiti.

Tell us more about your recent tohu, and your experiences leading up towards graduation?

I've just completed the Bachelor of Nursing degree, so I'm a new grad fresh out of school. 3 years of full time study with 2 kids and trying to get work - it was good, hard, but worth it. I worked at Te Wiremu Rest Home in my last couple years [of study], and you've just got to find a good balance.

Any acknowledgements you'd like to make?

My family - they've seen the good, the bad, and everything else. My partner, my two boys, my parents. I made some good friends too while studying, and have a couple of really good friends who were able to support. And even here [Puhi Kai Iti Community Health Centre], for employing me. This is my first job as a nurse, so I’m grateful that this [Puhi Kai Iti] is such a supportive environment. I've been very lucky.

Te Ara Priest

Where did your nursing journey begin?

EIT Tairāwhiti - I've been here [with Ngāti Porou Oranga] for about 7 years now. So 13 years ago is where my journey at EIT started. As soon as I graduated, I had 3 months of chilling, then brought my CV in [Puhi Kai Iti Community Health Centre], and they started me. I came on as casual at first, which was fine because I had 2 babies during my studies, so I grew with them.

Tell us more about your recent tohu, and your experiences leading up towards graduation?

I've just done the Post Grad Cert, and am on my third paper. If I do one more paper, I'll have the diploma, which is why I didn't really take notice of the certificate. I decided I wanted to do more for our people, and as Primary Healthcare Nurses, we have that ability.

Any acknowledgements you'd like to make?

My peers because they might not even know it but during my studies, I'd be bouncing things off them and getting ideas from them. The doctors - Dr Kiri Bird and Dr Ken McFarlane, they were my mentors. And my family.

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Te Whānau a Te Aopare invited to discuss health concerns and aspirations of hapū

Te Waha o Rūaumoko - Centre of Excellence invite whānau to come discuss the health concerns and aspirations of Te Whānau a Te Aopare hapū

The Centre of Excellence is developing its ability to support hapū led approaches to health improvement, so that health care services will no longer be seen as the sole owners of health and health service solutions, but rather, an important partner within the wellness framework. Hapū Development in health is a ground up approach to working with hapū to develop community led action in addressing wellness. It does not presume that the hapū is not already doing so, but seeks to support further action as the hapū sees fit. The purpose of this project is to work more closely with hapū to address hapū identified issues that relate to your own unique social, cultural, spiritual, environmental and health needs

📅 Saturday 16 March 2024

📍 Te Paerauta (Tutua) Marae, Te Araroa

⏰ 10am

Nau mai, haere mai!

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Nāti Pēpi Hapūtanga & Wahakura Wānanga

Register now for Nāti Pēpi Hapūtanga & Wahakura Wānanga!

March 12, 13, 14 2024

Hiruharama Marae, RUATOREA

Day 1

9am- 2.30pm

Hapūtanga Wānanga

Rongoā Making

Muka Tie

Day 2


Wahakura Day 1

Harvesting and Preparing Harakeke

Begin Wahakura

Day 3


Wahakura Completion



Delicious kai, mirimiri, beautiful prizes, and accommodation at Mangahanea Marae are available for māmā who attend


Please contact our Nāti Pēpi team in Ruatorea if you wish to attend wānanga with us

0800 563 566


Ngā mihi e te whānau...

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Mīharo Henri Banks

Ko Hikurangi te maunga

Ko Waiapu te awa

Ko Ngāti Porou te iwi

Nō Te Whānau a Rākairoa, Te Awemapara, me Te Riu o Waiapu ahau

Ko Tāwhai Banks taku hoa rangatira

Tokorima a māua tamariki

Ko Henri Banks ahau

I was born and bred around the Tairāwhiti. I went to Te Waiū and Waikirikiri School growing up. From a full time mum and crossfit coach, I am now a Mataora at Te Hiringa Matua and have been here 1.5 years working with the Nga Pae Matarau Team

What is your role like?

Challenging. Because whānau can be so stuck. Identifying the underlying blocks and supporting them with therapy through maramataka and hauora is key. Some people have been through traumatic events and don’t even know they have. So navigating this with them to figure out what that could be and how it is affecting them is a big part of my role

A lot of whānau are living in distress, due to AOD and poverty. I was one of these people once and I feel like my lived experience helps me in my approach allowing me to empathise and support whānau better

What do you enjoy about the role?

The thing I enjoy most about the role is working with whānau, watching and helping them make a shift. It is amazing. I also love working in a Te Ao Māori Space. It has helped me to reconnect too. Learning how our tīpuna did things and managed different situations is really interesting

Do you like your job?

Yes, I love my job! I am passionate about breaking cycles

However, after working and wānanga with whānau, I realised I was intrigued by the underlying issues more so than the social work side of things. I felt like I wanted to get deeper and know more. I wanted to know why whānau were turning to addictions and what was it in their lives that made them do it

What would you say to anyone interested in pursuing a career as a Mataora?

You definitely have to be passionate! But it is never too late and life experience is good

How do you look after yourself in your mahi?

Some ways we look after ourselves are Pure/Tuku Wānanga at the beach in the waitai, where we can unload in a safe space. Knowing your crew is receiving feedback too, makes it super safe

What do you get up to when you’re not at work?

Chilling with my whānau and Crossfit!

Do you have an inspiring whakataukī or whakatauakī that inspire you?

Nā to rourou, nā toku rourou ka ora ai te iwi

If everyone gives something and helps each other then we will all survive

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A New Doctor for Ngāti Porou Oranga

We got to catch up with our new young Doctor Jake after a couple months on the scene at Ngati Porou Oranga to see how he's settling in at Ngāti Porou Oranga.

So Jake tell us where are you from?

Well I was born in Seoul - the capital of South Korea. My parents moved us (my brother and I) to New Zealand when I was 10 years old. They felt the education system in Korea was too competitive and didn’t want that for us. So they made the big decision to move us all to New Zealand. They stayed until both my brother and I got our medical degrees and then they moved back to Korea. My brother also lives in Gisborne. He is a dentist.

We settled in Hastings and I attended Frimley Primary school and then we ended up moving to Napier where I attended Taradale High School. Then on  to Dunedin and I went to Otago University to do Medicine. I've been a Doctor at 3 Rivers Medical and also in Wairoa too. Altogether I have been living here for about 20 years.

Why medicine? What made you want to be a Doctor?

Well one night I was reading in my room and my dad knocked on the door and said “Jake are you a doctor yet?” Just jokes - but on a serious note my parents definitely had a hand in it. They wanted us to be medical professionals.

How are you finding the job so far at Ngāti Porou Oranga?

Great! I really like the way we get sufficient time with our patients. The extra time allows us to get into more holistic care and into the background to see what’s going on in their lives and not just why they’ve come into the clinic. It lets extra pressure off a GP and allows us to bond with patients.

I also like the culture here with the staff and patients. When you help someone or do extra work people genuinely appreciate it and dont take it for granted. I feel like the patients are really kind too.

Do you think you will be here long?

Yeah! Well I have family here with my brother and sister in law and also friends here too.

Why do you like being a GP?

I get to meet new people everyday (I meet like 20 new people a day!)

And I like doing my best to solve the problems the patients come in with. I also really enjoy the staff here from the nurses to the mataora everybody is interesting and our collegial relationship is great. Hopefully we get a few more doctors in the near future too.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with anyone interested in pursuing a career in medicine?

When I was at the hospital I couldn't find a specialty I was interested in. Most people becoming Dr’s already kind of know that they want to be like a brain surgeon or other. At one point I considered moving away from medicine and finding a new job. Then I tried being a GP as a last resort and I loved it. So now here I am. The thing I enjoy the most is being out in the community. So for anyone wanting to be a doctor I think it’s important to not give up and keep trying to find where you belong! I can't even imagine what I’d be doing if I wasn't a GP.. maybe a plumbing or maybe I’d be an electrician.

Do you go back to Korea often?

Yeah I enjoy going back there. Catching up with my cousins and relatives. I like the food over there. You can't get some types of Korean food here in NZ so I really make the most of it. Last time I was there last year I went for a month and I put on 10kgs!

So when you’re not in the clinic, what do you do for fun?

I like going to different restaurants and trying food and cocktails! (laughs). I went to the new Tahu restaurant last night with my friend and we enjoyed lots of good food and cocktails. I like to take pictures of my food *shows pictures. I think you can tell I’m a foodie!

I also like playing table tennis but I haven’t played in ages! I was the King of table tennis at Wairoa Hospital Accomodation! So I’d like to play again soon some time.

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Koia kei a koe Jessy Lerm!

Ko Pukehapopo te maunga

Ko Waiomoko te awa

Ko Ngāti Konohi te iwi

Ko Reuben Coffey taku hoa rangatira

Ko Terai mā te ata, Āwhina, Te Pou o te Awa, me Iranui a māua tamariki

Ko Jessy Lerm ahau

What is your role?

I am a Mataora in the Ngā Pae Matarau (FASD) Space. I have been at Te Hiringa Matua for just over 2 years

What do you enjoy about the role?

I enjoy working in an Ao Māori setting. It’s wānanga based, constantly learning, constantly being uncomfortable and adapting to spaces. The thing I like most is being able to see the transitions whānau make as wē walk alongside them in their journey with us

Tell us about Hiringa Matua?

Te Hiringa Matua is a parenting, pregnancy service working with some of our most resilient whānau. I am a Mataora. It is my role to be a “change agent” to help inspire change in a person or whānau. Trying tō help positive change in whānau is a significant part of the kaupapa

How is the work load?

The mahi is hard but definitely rewarding, especially watching the transition take place within each whānau. Some whānau you've been working with over a long period of time and just to see the shift and to watch them now thriving. Very rewarding mahi. The thing I love is that there is no specific way to mahi. We are free to implement our pūkenga with whānau. Although my tohu is in AOD Counselling, I am able to incorporate other practices including rongoā rākau

Yes, tell us about your tohu/most recent achievement?

It was a level 7 Post Grad Diploma in Alcohol and other Drugs Counselling. I am now a registered clinician for the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association Aoteroa New Zealand. (DAPAANZ). We can now offer AoD counselling to whānau at Te Hiringa Matua

Do you have any advice for up and coming Mataora?

If you are thinking about being a Mataora or doing this kind of mahi - come. We definitely need it. It's not about us, it's about the next generation and how we can work to make this a better place for tamariki - not just ours but all tamariki and mokopuna

What are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about indigensing your space and speaking up for institutional racism. I am passionate about my tamariki being strong in who they are and where they come from

How do you unwind from such big mahi?

Lying down and closing off my mind. Being with my tamariki as much as they do my head in (laughs). Bring back simple things. Because our mahi can be so heavy and pōuri, it’s fun to just be with my babies, muck around, and be a whānau. I also paint on denim jackets as a hobby!

Do you have any inspiring whakataukī that you would like to share?

“If you are a tree, we are a small axe sharp and ready” Bob Marley

I think it means that though things might seem big in life wē can always get through them and conquer anything!

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Matakaoa on the Move

A new pilates class has started in Te Araroa run by Ngāti Porou Hauora Physiotherapist Anne Hewetson. The weekly class is held at Hinerupe (the local marae) and has a growing mix of local people attending regularly, especially kaumātua (elders). The initiative has been started as a proactive way to keep people strong, mobile and to prevent falls, as well to boost recovery for those who have had injuries or operations. The exercises focus on increasing levels of strength, balance, flexibility, muscle tone, stamina, and well-being. The ability to modify exercises to meet differing needs makes it a great community activity. “People are commenting about how good it makes them feel.

There has been increased mobility in some members and it has given people a greater understanding of what their bodies are capable of and what it feels like to have a good stretch.” - Tracey Morris, Rural Health Nurse Because the Physiotherapist is only in the area once a week, the goal is to train a local person to take over the classes going forward. This will give people greater access to recovery and rehabilitation sessions. The team at Matakaoa Clinic are also wanting to start a regular walking group. The staff walk most mornings already but are keen to get more locals involved. The Huringa Pai movement in Gisborne has certainly helped inspire the idea.

These activities all fit in with Ngāti Porou Hauora’s bigger vision to transform the East Coast into one of the world’s Blue Zones. Blue Zones are a handful of small areas in the world where people live longer and live 'happier' than anywhere else on the planet. Two of the core ingredients that have been identified in the recipe for a Blue Zone are regular physical activity and coming together as a community.

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A waiata (song) has recently been gifted to the mental health team at Ngāti Porou Hauora. Presented by John Coleman of Tokomaru Bay, this waiata is a special tribute to a woman and past consumer of the mental health service, who has since passed away. Waiata have long been an effective method for maintaining well-being for Māori. It is an expression of emotion and a traditional form of healing. Over the past few decades, Ngāti Porou Hauora have been privileged to have had support from John and over this time he has written the organisation hundreds of songs. John comes from a line of gifted Ngāti Porou composers including Tuini Ngawai and Ngoi Pewhairangi.

Through waiata John has recorded the history of hauora on the Coast. Whenever there has been a hui or significant moment, there has also been a waiata that helps us remember who was there and what the kaupapa (topic of discussion) was. Often visitors have been able to take away the gift of a song as a special reminder of their visit. This waiata, however, is slightly different. In his younger days, John worked in the NPH mental health service, and it was here that he came across this particular song. A woman who was battling mental illness at the time brought in the English version of the song and explained that when she heard it, she felt like it was singing about her. The lyrics resonated deeply. However, she asked that John translate it to Māori as she believed this would be more beautiful and useful to her in her healing journey. Years later, John was reminded of the song. With the Ngāti Porou Hauora team recently visiting and consulting with the community around our model of care, and the nationwide Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction he decided it would be a useful tool to help people to understand the perspective of those suffering from mental health issues and addiction. Here is the song: Lace covered window

Original by New Faces / Nga kupu by J.T. Coleman I te reo


Tuatahi: Ka hikoi I tea o, anake,
O pumau, ka huri, muri new e.
Ka tangi roimata, maumahara,
Nga whakaaturanga matapihi. 

Tuarua: Te marama e kore I kitea,
Na konei, ko te whiu, I tea o nei,
E pumau kia kume te aria e,
Tirohia te aria matapihi. 

Chorus: Ka rapa noa nga mahara kei whea ra.
Ko wai e tau nei I a koe.
Me kume te aria kia mohio ano
Te aroha kei reira mo koe ra. 

Tuatoru: Ka hikoi korua mo ake
Waihotia na pouri, mamaetanga,
Ka nga ra whiti-mai apopo,
Tu where te aria matapihi,
Whiti ra te aria matapihi. 


Verse 1: When you walk through the world all alone,
And your dreams turn to ashes behind you,
Then the tears in your eyes will remind you,
Of a vein through a lace covered window. 

Verse 2: Doesn’t seem very clear anymore,
In your world everything is uncertain,
How you wish you could pull back the curtain,
Just to see through that lace covered window.

Chorus: But you’ll never know what life has in store,
What’s waiting there to greet you.
So pull back the curtains and maybe once more,
True love is there to meet you. 

Verse 3: So you walk side by side through the world,
No more times full of darkness & sorrow,
Every day is a bright new tomorrow,
When you open that lace covered window,
Let the sun through that lace covered window.

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Pēpi Ora

In partnership Vodafone New Zealand Foundation and Todd Foundation, we are excited to be developing innovative technology which will support parents on the Coast. This project is the first of its kind and has the potential to revolutionise parent’s engagement with children’s health development. The name Pēpi Ora came from a group of young whānau in Ngāti Porou. Pēpi means a baby in infancy and Ora is a state of wellbeing, to be healthy, fit and alive. The app will be an incentive-based programme for young families that takes the ‘Gold Card’ idea, but instead rewards parents for the important contribution they make to NZ society, and improves it by including a points collection and rewards program.

Young parents join our programme at their first antenatal appointment and once fully developed, will be able to collect points through activities such as attending health appointments, completing immunisations and developing and implementing a whānau ora plan. The potential to increase young parent’s active engagement in the health, development and education of their child is currently untapped in New Zealand. The physical Well Child/Tamariki Ora booklet is often forgotten by parents attending appointments, and very seldom looked at between appointments. Pēpi Ora will revolutionise these old systems by offering something that is engaging and culturally-sensitive. The interaction whanau will have with technology through the app, we believe will support actively engaged young parents and as a result, improve future outcomes for our next generation.

In October 2017 Ngāti Porou Hauora’s Frances King and Laine Tangaire a rangatahi (youth) from Rangitukia spent six weeks at the Vodafone NZ Foundation’s Change Accelerator Program surrounded by a team of tech experts from Dev Academy and Vodafone. This unique opportunity saw the concept of Pēpi Ora come to life through a prototype which we have now taken back to the Coast for development. This year we are undertaking a formal trial of the program with whānau on the coast and local businesses. Evaluation from this will inform the development of the next phase: a ‘native app’ that we can roll out across the whole community. This project is the first of its kind and has the potential to be scaled locally, nationally and internationally. Scaling the program will be dependent on the success of this pilot and the level of interest from key stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, NGOs such as Plunket, Māori health service providers and local businesses contributing to the rewards programme. Once trialed and refined into an attractive, functional app; this program has great potential.

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Research Centre

This year Ngāti Porou Hauora opens the doors of the Te Rangawairua o Paratene Ngata Research Centre, based at Te Puia Springs Hospital. The name honours the vision of the late Dr Paratene Ngata: for Ngāti Porou Hauora to lead our own research developments, becoming “a tikanga and research based centre of excellence for Hauora Māori”. The name has been gifted to us by Dr Paratene’s whanau and in English translates to ‘The Inspiration of Paratene Ngata’. The centre will provide a basis for building on the research initiatives and relationships which Dr Paratene inspired Ngāti Porou Hauora, our communities and university researchers to build over the last 15 years+.

It is our intention that the centre will be a catalyst for growing sustainable research partnerships that enhance our work with local communities and scientists from a range of disciplines to generate new knowledge and better health outcomes that empower our people to live well and live longer. Initially, the centre will enhance research that has been focusing on increasing knowledge about factors, including genetics and nutrition, which contribute to the prevalence of the debilitating metabolic conditions which compromise many people’s lives: type-2 diabetes, gout, obesity, heart & kidney disease, and the impact of sugar. Through NPH’s newest research partnership, with the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Bio-discovery, an expanded collaborative network of scientists, health researchers and providers will work with us to further advance understandings about metabolic conditions - with the aim of informing significant improvements in treatment and prevention.

Teepa Wawatai, chairman of Ngāti Porou Hauora Charitable Trust Board, said diabetes, gout, heart and kidney disease were four important health issues affecting Ngāti Porou, and these will be a focus for initial research. “We are excited about the new Research Centre and believe the work that happens there result in better ways to prevent and treat these conditions while also delivering jobs and educational outcomes. This mechanism allow us to deliver these outcomes in a way that does not divert resources from our critical frontline healthcare roles.” Importantly, integral to all activities of the research centre will be regular opportunities for our communities (including schools), health professionals and scientists to meet with each other to share knowledge and co-define priorities, and for Ngāti Porou and other māori students, practitioners and researchers to develop skills in research of relevance to māori and rural health.

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