National Nati news / Politics
Written by: Teepa Wawatai, Ngati Porou Hauora Chairperson
13 Nov 2017

Tena koutou Ngati Porou.

Five years ago, when the current Board was appointed, we inherited an organisation that was haemorrhaging with overwhelming deficits, escalating debt, and failing to meet the clinical performance targets set by the Minister of Health for all Primary Health Organisations (PHOs). However, within 3 years we turned the organisation around from one of the poorest performing PHOs, to one of the top 5 in the country.

In 4 years we have turned the financial performance around from overwhelming annual deficits, to producing a surplus this year. No other PHO in the country has achieved this degree of turnaround. In fact, few organisations, let alone PHOs, have accomplished what we have. I am proud of the commitment of all Hauora personnel whose collective efforts over that prolonged period contributed to this remarkable achievement. Now let’s talk about the future. I turn there because throughout this difficult journey we’ve never lost sight of why we are here.

Our people die earlier than any other population group in the country and suffer more through co-morbidity en route to that early death. Let’s flip that completely up-side down. We want to transform our rohe into one of the world’s blue zones. What’s a blue zone? There are only a handful of blue zones in the world. They are small areas where people live longer and live ‘happier’ than anywhere else on the planet. Te Pae Kahurangi, that’s our destination. I have confidence that Ngati Porou will, one day, unveil our own blue zone to the rest of the world.

Highlights from 2016/2017 year


For the first time since 2005 NPH has produced a profit after capital grants and donations.


TRONPnui has led discussions with the Crown to develop a Business Case for Crown investment in the provision of Health and Social services and supporting infrastructure.


Change is constant. We employ 150 people/105 FTE and are in the midst of a 3-phase change process. 16 positions were affected in the last phase through deployment to other positions, reduced hours and/or disestablishment and redundancy.


We completed a major project migrating to a much-improved technology platform and, with funds from Eastern & Central Community Trust, Hauora Tairawhiti and the Ministry of Health, connection of NPH clinics and the hospital to the fibre backbone was completed.


Puhi Kaiti now has a full complement of doctors after 4 years of targeted recruitment. However, GPs and nurses for the Coast are still sought to support services in Matakaoa, Tikitiki, and Ruatoria. Recently we farewelled Dr Margaret Charles and we thank her for her service to our rural clinics.


The tragic loss of the Tikitiki Clinic through fire in January has resulted in whanau utilizing services at Matakaoa and Ruatoria. We thank local business owner, Mr Hughie Hughes for providing transport to the Tikitiki/Rangitukia community to attend their appointments at these clinics.


Some of our clinical results have shown great results, like our vaccination coverage for 2 year olds (95%). Our staff are working collectively with whanau to address other targeted areas such as heart checks, quit smoking, diabetes detection, breast and cervical screening.


Huringa Pai is a highly successful programme (#964MoveWhanauHeart) which has been operating for two years. Whanau are taking the lead in turning their health and fitness levels around, resulting in improved health status. Some Ngati Porou Hauora staff are also providing inspirational leadership to improve their health and add years and quality to their lives. Many have quit smoking, lost weight and improved health through exercise and a better diet.


The University of Otago has placed a Professional Practice Fellow at Ngati Porou Hauora focusing on: training opportunities for their university students within NPH; linking Ngati Porou students at Otago back to the Coast; establishing pathways into Health as a career for local East Coast secondary school students; professional development opportunities for NPH staff; and identifying research opportunities.


A long and fruitful research relationship with Professor Tony Merriman from the University of Otago studying the link between genes, kai and gout, diabetes and heart disease has been enhanced with exciting opportunities through work by Professor Peter Shepherd (Maurice Wilkens Centre/University of Auckland) in understanding the impact of genetic factors on disease and improving the use and range of medicines available.


NPH participated in an international project “No decision about me, without me” – featuring international experience on approaches to community power, participation and decision making. Led by Professor Don Matheson and funded by the Charities Aid Foundation of America, NPH will participate in the ‘Shaping Health Summit’ in Aberdeen, Scotland.


We have successfully engaged philanthropic organisations to partner with us, share our vision and bridge the funding shortfall from the Crown.

Teepa Wawatai


 Ngati Porou Hauora