Te Ha Oranga: making a difference

by Helen Martin

Te Ha Oranga, a free health support service which caters for the South Kaipara, has moved from its original 98 Commercial Rd premises to the Helensville Trust’s health quadrant at 65 Commercial Rd.
While the focus is on iwi health under the auspices of Ministry of Health funded Te Rûnanaga o Ngâti Whâtua, Registered Nurse and Te Ha Oranga Manager Angilla Perawiti explains that the service is not just for Mâori. “It’s for anyone and everyone. Lots of whanau who are not Mâori register with us, we don’t exclude anybody.
”The eight staff based at the office offer a mobile service, which includes covering the five local marae, aimed at supporting whanau at home in self-managing their health issues. It’s not a medical service; it’s all about empowerment. “We do a lot of advocacy,” says Angilla. “We’re building whanuanatanga (relationships) with our whanau to get underneath all the other stuff that’s going on and to try to maximize their quality of life. The bulk of the problems that impact on our whanau’s health tend to be issues like housing, income, parenting and budgeting. As well as supporting community initiatives, a key role for us is that we can connect whanau to the right resources through the specialist agencies we work with that offer services like Tamariki Ora (Well Child Check), Whanau Ora (family support), alcohol and drug counselling and quit smoking counselling.”
Angilla says that while the service has had a lot of successes there’s always more to be done. “The high rate of suicide among our rangatahi (youth) is of great concern. We need clinical services here on the ground in Te Awaroa and that’s something we’re pushing for strongly at the moment.”
For further information contact Practice Leader Angilla Perawiti, Ph: 420 8523, email: angilla.perawiti@tehaoranga.co.nz

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