Emma Wyeth joins WellSouth board of trustees
A respected hauora Māori and health system researcher, educator, and prominent member of southern Ngāi Tahu communities is joining WellSouth Primary Health Network’s Board of Trustees as a mana whenua representative.
Associate Professor Emma Wyeth (Kāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tama, Ngāti Mutunga) is Manupiki Māori o Te Wāhanga Matua Mātau Hauora (Associate Dean Māori, Division of Health Sciences) and Director of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit at the University of Otago. She says she has both professional and personal reasons for wanting to join the board.
A/Prof Emma Wyeth. Newest WellSouth trustee
"As our overall health and disability system embarks on transformational change, it is an exciting time to be involved with primary and community care, a critical part of the health sector, with the opportunity to support changes that will improve health equity and access to health services for Māori,” she says.
“But my goal is ultimately personal. I want to contribute to bringing about a region where Ngāi Tahu, and other Māori, individuals, whānau and communities, can enjoy vastly better health access, services, outcomes and experiences than we currently do. This is not simply a question of social equity, but rather a fulfilment of a key aspect of our Ngāi Tahu Claim ‘Te Kerēme’, namely the adequate provision of ‘schools and hospitals’ and of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
“Māori continue to experience significant health inequities and increased burdens compared to non-Māori across almost all health indicators. WellSouth has an important role to play to effect change and I’m heartened by the aim to improve overall health and wellbeing, and working with our community to do so.”
Emma’s first board meeting is in April as she takes on the trustee role vacated by Donna Matahaere-Atariki (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Rauru and Te Atiawa) and past Chair of Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou, who is stepping down after two terms as WellSouth trustee.
WellSouth board chairman Dr Doug Hill says Donna has been a remarkable advocate for addressing inequity in primary care during her 10 years as a trustee, and WellSouth is fortunate to have Emma join to continue to provide that invaluable advice and share her knowledge.
“We will greatly miss Donna’s contribution but look forward to continuing to work closely with her as chair of Ōtākou Health Ltd and a key leader in Te Kāika,” Doug says.
“We’re very pleased to welcome Emma to the board and appreciate the broad perspective she will bring from her academic training and range of experience.
“WellSouth is absolutely committed to working in partnership with mana whenua to address Māori health inequity and Emma's appointment is another key step in this direction.”
Emma grew up in Karitāne and now lives in Ōtepoti. She has strong whakapapa connections to Puketeraki and Ōtākou Marae. She is married to Ngāi Tahu historian Dr Michael Stevens and has three tamariki, Kura-Mātakitaki, Te Haeatanui and Tūhiku-a-Kiwa.
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