Over 150 rural health representatives from across New Zealand gathered at Parliament yesterday to celebrate the launch of Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network.
The new collective organisation was welcomed by Hon Peeni Henare Associate Minister of Health (Māori) as a “force for rural health.”
Reflecting upon the change occurring within the health sector Minister Henare said, “Matariki gives us an opportunity not only to reflect on the past but also look to the future.”
“Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network Kaupapa is certainly one that is now preparing itself for the future.”
Hon Kieran McAnulty, Member of Parliament for Wairarapa, in his speech acknowledged the strength of Hauora Taiwhenua uniting with its rural health partners to contribute to positive change in the health sector and for rural communities.
“Your advocacy and vision for strong resilient rural communities will be important in helping to inform government policies and commission the agencies that get the correct processes, systems and services funded,” he said.
“Your work in conjunction with the health reforms and rural health strategy creates a great opportunity to create better health outcomes for rural.”
The launch of Hauora Taiwhenua coincides with the introduction of the Pae Ora Healthy Futures Bill in which rural communities will be recognised as a priority population.
Hauora Taiwhenua Board Chair Dr Fiona Bolden acknowledged the significance of having our united rural voice heard.
“When it comes to rural, there should be nothing about us, without us,” she said.
Formed by the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network and its rural health partners, Hauora Taiwhenua is a new collective organisation to advocate for the health and wellbeing of rural New Zealanders.
Through its nine chapters, Hauora Taiwhenua represents the breadth of the rural health sector and rural communities.
Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network will officially begin operating on Friday 1 July 2022.