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Agreement signing and new name mark next step for Invercargill primary health care partnership

Thursday 30 September 2021

The new Invercargill primary care partnership is taking a major step forward with a new name and the official signing of a partnership agreement between Awarua Rūnaka, Hokonui Runanga and WellSouth primary health network in Waihōpai-Invercargill today (Thursday 30 September).

The new name for the service - Te Hau o Te Ora, Partnered Primary Care Network – was gifted by Hokonui Runanga and means The Breath of New Life and signifies hope, health and well-being and manaakitanga.

This is a significant milestone on the pathway to launching the mana whenua primary care services aimed at supporting unenrolled patients in Waihopai, especially unenrolled Māori.

Making history: Mata Cherrington (Kaihautū/CEO Awarua Rūnaka, Ivan Hodgetts (Awarua Rūnaka), Whaea Louise Fowler (Trustee Awarua Rūnaka)
Dean Whaanga (Awarua Rūnaka), Taare Bradshaw (Hokonui Runanga), Donna Matahaere-Atariki (WellSouth Trustee, Terry Bradshaw (Hokonui Runanga),
Michael Skerrett (Waihōpai Rūnaka), Andrew Swanson-Dobbs (CEO WellSouth), Tony Hill (WellSouth Trustee).

Terry Nicholas, Hokonui Runanga Executive Coordinator says the partnership is important for delivering a whanau-centre model of care and increasing access to primary care in the city and region for unenrolled patients.
“This has potential to make a genuine difference to health outcomes in the city. I am very hopeful of change.”

 “We have a responsibility to strive toward achieving the aspirations of our taua and poua,” says Whaea Louise Fowler, Trustee of Awarua Rūnaka. 

“The weight of this responsibility to achieve their vision for Oranga Whānau continues to be the motivating driver to determine not only equitable outcomes for whanau Māori, but through our relationships, we can achieve hauora for all of our communities living in Murihiku. 

“Through sharing our respective matauranga and resources we will facilitate the evolution of health care provision in Murihiku that will better serve all people and achieve Pae Oranga, ” says Louise. 

WellSouth CEO Andrew Swanson-Dobbs says the formal signing is a day to celebrate: “We are so fortunate to have Awarua Rūnaka and Hokonui Runanga as partners on our journey. They have been supportive and eager to share in this important initiative from day one.”

“This is a truly equitable partnership based on a shared vison that cooperation and collaboration in a locality is the way of the future.”

This partnered service is a response to the expressed need of the Invercargill community and is based on a whānau-centred model of care, increasing access to primary care in the city. 

Initially based at WellSouth premises in Clyde Street, Te Hau o Te Ora, Partnered Primary Care Network, will focus on delivering primary care services similar to those provided by general practice and mana whenua mandated Māori health providers. The partners acknowledge the potential for the scope of service to expand to include other community-based services in the future.

WellSouth announced in February it was seeking to establish a primary care service to help support unenrolled populations and general practices in Invercargill. In June, Hokonui Rūnanga, Waihōpai Rūnaka and Awarua Rūnaka put their support behind the venture and in July service manager Anna Gaitt was recruited to lead the initiative.

 Working together the partners are recruiting for clinical and support staff for the service.

“This is ambitious and innovative, and we will be up and running in the very near future,” says Andrew.

About Te Hau o Te Ora, Partnered Primary Care Network

The Invercargill primary care service partnership aims to deliver whānau-centred primary care services targeting unenrolled populations, particularly those unable to access primary care.  While initially focused on delivering health care services similar to those delivered by general practices and Māori health providers, the partners acknowledge the potential for the scope of services to expand to include other community-based services in the future. This includes partnering with existing community services.

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