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Te Kōkī Hauora – the network of Maori Public Health workers

15 Mar 2022 2:57 PM | Anonymous

Te Kōkī Hauora 

Te Kōkī refers to the bird song chorus when manu of all kinds gather at dawn to sing and kōrero together.  When they stop singing there is an immediate silence and they flit back to their various places of mahi and habitation until the next kōkī.    

Te Kōkī Hauora is the name given to the gathering of manu hauora to kōrero and meet (online and kānohi ki te kānohi – face to face).  In this context, the network refers specifically to Māori working within mainstream Public Health Units (PHU’s) throughout Aotearoa. 


During the Level 4 COVID-19 response the PHU’s came under unprecedented pressure. Along with others, many Maori staff struggled with the additional work and whanau pressuresCOVID-19 exacerbated existing inequites and institutional failures that already existed in the public health sector. A group of Maori within the PHU’s came together to:  

  • have a safeplace to kōrero withother Māori experiencing the same issues 

  • provide collegial and cultural support 

  • find out what is happening outside of their rohe and how hapori Māori were coping with COVID-19 

  • share insights with eachother 

  • support those that needed it (addressing isolation) 

  • create working groups, and share plans and ideas 

  • discuss issues affecting whanau Maori i.e. thethreewaterreforms 

  • host guest speakers that could inform the group on what is happening upstream (service managers, MOH, etc) and discuss ways that we can better address the inequities 

In the begining, the group went from two to ten to 60 Māori on the weekly zoom.  This eventually led to the national Māori COVID-19 hui hostedby Waikato in 2020.  The network continues to meet regularly. 

Last year, after a series of discussions with Te Kōkī Hauora members, the national office of the PHA, and the Ministry of Health, it was agreed that the PHA would provide administrative and pastoral care support services to the members of Te Kōkī Hauora. We are pleased to be able to support our colleagues in the PHU’s and to strengthen the relationship between ourselves. At this stage, the roopu have agreed to meet at least monthly, and are working with the PHA to develop a workplan that meets the group’s needs. We will keep our members updated with our progress.  


Grant Berghan 

Chief Executive Officer. 


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