Ngā pātuinga kia arahina ngā whakataunga e ngāi Māori | Partnering for Māori-led solutions

A key success of Te Whaioranga is the long-standing relationships PHARMAC has established with Whānau Ora and Māori health workforces. Through these relationships and joint work programmes we have heard directly from whānau Māori over many years. These enduring relationships are key to improving Māori health outcomes.

PHARMAC’s He Rongoā Pai, He Oranga Whānau programme, developed and delivered in partnership with expert Māori pharmacists and Māori doctors, has been running since early 2005. The wānanga are facilitated by some of New Zealand’s leading Māori professionals in pharmacology and primary care. Through these wānanga, whānau Māori and those who work with them gain a better understanding of medicines and how to benefit most from them. What we have heard through the wānanga has helped us better understand whānau Māori access to medicines.

Mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori perspectives are essential to solve policy and practical problems and improve outcomes. The refreshed Te Whaioranga will help build on our current relationships to ensure we have a strong platform for Māori to influence and guide our work with and for and by Māori.

NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Co-President Kerri NukuMāori nurses and PHARMAC – a shared commitment to improving Māori health and wellbeing

Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) and its relationship with Te Pātaka Whaioranga (PHARMAC) 

An organisation that stands strong to its values of mātauranga Māori and te ao Māori perspectives is Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, which sits inside Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO).

Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa represents the concerns and interests of its over 3,800 Māori nurses, midwives, kaimahi hauora, health care assistants and allied health professionals. It leads NZNO in the development of policy pertaining to Māori and provides advice about implementation. Their priority is to ensure that essential tikanga is upheld and that the wider kaupapa of NZNO reflects Te Rūnanga values.

NZNO Kaiwhakahaere Co-President Kerri Nuku acknowledges the relationship with Te Pātaka Whaioranga is a special one, built over the past eight years. “We are very grateful for the support given by Te Pātaka Whaioranga to our Māori nurses. There is real whanaungatanga in our relationship because of our shared commitment to improving Māori health and wellbeing.”

Te Pātaka Whaioranga supports Māori nurses by sponsoring the annual Tapuhi Kaitiaki awards at the Indigenous Nurse conference. PHARMAC and Te Poari o Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa created the Tapuhi Kaitiaki awards to acknowledge the crucial role of Māori nurses
and to support nurses’ studies, clinical practice, and professional development as they continue to support the wellbeing of whānau.

Māori nurses are the largest Māori health professional workforce,” explains Sarah Fitt, PHARMAC Chief Executive, “They add incredible value with their clinical and mātauranga Māori expertise and strong connections in communities and whānau Māori.

Following successful delivery of He Rongoā Pai, He Oranga Whānau wānanga in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, we intend to continue to explore and build on this key relationship.

Helen Leahy Pouarahi Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, Whānau Ora and PHARMAC

Helen Leahy, Pouārahi (chief executive) of Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, believes that financial support provided by PHARMAC allows her organisation to reach and support diverse audiences in quite unique ways.

Te Pūtahitanga o te Waipounamu is the Whānau Ora commissioning agency in the South Island.

There are over 230 whānau entities that make up the South Island Whānau Ora collective response, as well as 100 FTE in our NavNation (Whānau Ora Navigators).

“The majority of our funding comes from Te Puni Kōkiri,” explains Helen, “but because of our joint interest in health literacy and issues of access equity PHARMAC agreed to provide $350,000 over three years for projects that specifically focus on issues of community health for whānau Māori.

“PHARMAC funding has enabled us to reach those communities hardly reached. Not hard TO reach, hardly reached. Those whom mainstream services are not reaching out to engage with, those who have diverse needs which are overlooked by conventional services.”

The hauora events can focus on any aspect of health and wellbeing which is sought by the particular communities. Ten events a year are arranged by the local communities for their whānau, which mean the impact is more significant and more meaningful.

Two events immediately come to mind for Helen as unique events with big impacts for their whānau. The first was coordinated by a barber in Aranui, Christchurch, where Māori and Pasifika young people were encouraged to come in for a haircut and talk about any other issues that they might feel comfortable about sharing, such as the impact of drugs and alcohol or youth mental health. The second event was called ‘Healthy day at the Pā’. The event was for kaumātua from three Christchurch marae where they focused on healthy eating, understanding medication, recreational approaches such as sit and be fit and areas of particular interest to the group including financial scams or dementia.

PHARMAC’s partnerships with Whānau Ora acknowledge the incredible impact Whānau Ora organisations have working with whānau Māori. Providing funding for events like these is one of the ways we support a ‘by Māori, for Māori’ approach to improve health outcomes. These important relationships give PHARMAC greater insight into the communities we work with.

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