Taranaki DHB wins at Nga Tohu Reo Maori awards

10 November 2014

Pictured: The TDHB team (Matua Ray Tito, our Kaumatua, Sally Webb, Deputy Chair of the TDHB Board, Rosemary Clements, COO, Ian Grant, Project Manager for Project Maunga and Ngawai Henare, Chief Advisor for Maori Health) together with members of our Iwi Relationship Board Te Whare Punanga Korero Trust and Te Reo O Taranaki who did our signage translations and provided other support.

Taranaki DHB won the Government category at the Maori Language Awards 2014 on Friday 7 November in Rotorua, edging out the other finalists, the Inland Revenue Department (Palmerston North) and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. The awards were run by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Maori / Maori Language Commission. 

Ngawai Henare, Chief Advisor for Maori Health said, “We are thrilled to have won the Government category award.  It acknowledges the work that’s been done by lots of people to make te reo Maori much more visible throughout Taranaki Base Hospital and the Taranaki DHB campus.”

The Taranaki DHB submitted an application based on its commitment to incorporate bilingual signage around Project Maunga (the hospital redevelopment) and the rest of the Taranaki DHB campus as well as usage of te reo Maori in pamphlets, posters and the new Children’s Ward.

“Part of the challenge of improving Maori health is about making services more inviting for Maori so they’ll actually feel ok about coming here to receive services,” commented Ms Henare.

“One way of doing this is to reflect Maori culture in the environment. Project Maunga (the hospital redevelopment project) was a great opportunity to do this, and now bilingual signage is prominent around the hospital and campus.”

Ms Henare emphasised the importance of working with the eight iwi of Taranaki through their representative body, Te Whare Punanga Korero (TWPK), to make the bilingual signage project happen. 

“This project is a good example of the strength of the relationship the Taranaki iwi has with the Taranaki DHB, as a Crown agent. This is an influential relationship that’s based on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and it is important to acknowledge this project is as much about TWPK as it is the Taranaki DHB,” she said.

Ms Henare also emphasised the importance of the relationship the Taranaki DHB has built with Te Reo o Taranaki Trust, experts in the Taranaki dialect of the Maori language who provided the translations for all our signage.  “Te Reo o Taranaki applied a rigorous process to decide on the correct translations.  Mitchell Ritai and his team were finalists themselves in the Community award category and were present at the awards evening as well.  It was fitting for them to join with the Taranaki DHB and Te Whare Punanga Korero on the stage to collect the award.”

The 2014 Taranaki DHB Maori Language Awards application highlighted several things:

  • how the use and awareness of Maori culture and te reo Maori has been raised in and around the hospital. For example, the widespread use of bilingual signage in and around the hospital which has created lots of interest and discussion.
  • how the Taranaki DHB’s leadership has supported increasing the visibility of te reo around the hospital. For example, the Taranaki DHB Board now has specific time allocated at every Board meeting for raising cultural awareness. This is delivered by one of its Board members.
  • how it has been ensured the reo used is of a high quality and relevant to Taranaki. Involving Te Reo O Taranaki Trust who are experts in te reo o Taranaki and have been of immense value here, and the Taranaki DHB has committed to maintaining this relationship.
  • Taranaki DHB has long term plans for incorporating te reo Maori including:
    • its commitment to including bilingual signage on all its facilities, as these are refreshed and updated over time.
    • discussion with Te Reo O Taranaki as to how Taranaki DHB can deliver Maori language lessons to staff, hopefully in the not too distant future.



For more information please call –
Cressida Gates, Media Advisor, Ph 027 703 6177


Last updated: Tuesday, November 11, 2014

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