WDHB Māori Health Services welcome four new staff members

17 March 2014

New staff and their whanau (supported by Te Oranganui) are welcomed onto the WDHB campus at Monday morning’s joint WDHB and Whanganui Regional Health Network powhiri.
Four new whānau support workers have joined Māori Health Services.

They are:
Ned Tapa (Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahungungu), Brenda Nelson (Te Iwi Morehu, Ngāti Apa ki te Ra To), Carwyn Taitumu (Ngāti Poutama, Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Hauiti) and Crystal Hika (Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi, Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Apa, Kai Tahu).

Mr Tapa, Mrs Nelson, Ms Taitumu and Mrs Hika have joined Māori Health Services whānau support worker Merle Ormsby (Ngāti Hikairo, Ngāti Tuwharetoa) who continues her role in Mental Health.
Guided by recently appointed Māori Health Services clinical manager Rihi Karena (Nga Wairiki/Ngati Apa, Te Atihaunui-a-Paparangi, Nga Rauru, Ngati Ruanui), the whanau support workers are tasked with improving the whānau journey through DHB services and improving the health and wellbeing of whānau/families.
A key part of the role involves providing advice on Whānau Ora and its focus on the overall wellbeing of the individual and their whānau, supporting staff and clinical leaders’ efforts to provide whānau/family-centred services and demonstrating tikanga best practice.
 “The whānau support workers will assist whānau/families in their journey towards achieving Whānau Ora by  helping them to develop skills and knowledge which build on their strengths and give them confidence to actively realise their aspirations as whānau,” says Māori Health Services director Rowena Kui.
“In doing this, the whānau support workers will take into account the impact that social determinants of health such as housing, income and agencies have on our Māori population.”
Mrs Kui says judging by the large number of WDHB staff, friends and family members who attended today’s Pōwhiri to welcome the whānau support workers onto the WDHB campus, there is a great deal of support for them and the work they will be doing to improve the health of Māori.
Whanganui Regional Health Network staff joined WDHB staff to welcome the new whānau support team. In the spirit of integration, representatives from the two organisations sat on the interview panel. In time, they expect to see the whānau support workers working alongside primary health care teams and iwi providers.