Māori Health

In 1914 traditional medicines and practices were used by Māori to treat illness, and they were cared for in their homes. Today, Māori have both clinical and cultural support in a dedicated Kaupapa Ward, the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

The Kaupapa Ward

Ward 2A at Tauranga Hospital is the Kaupapa Ward, which was established in 1990 to meet the clinical and cultural needs of Māori patients. It is an acute ward for medical, respiratory, diabetes and cardiac care.

The Kaupapa ward, which is the only one of its kind in New Zealand, has clinically trained staff and can also provide access to Te Reo, and tikanga best practice.

The Ward started with with four beds, and has increased to 10-12 beds dedicated to Māori with the ability to flex to 22 bed if required.

 Kaupapa Ward

The staff of the Kaupapa Ward say that many people from around the country have visited to see for themselves how the ward is run. "It's the only one that we know of operating in a hospital in New Zealand, and we've had a lot of interest about what we've done here."

"It is unique. A lot of people are quite acutely unwell or at the end-stage of their lives when they come in. In the Kaupapa Ward not only clinical care is provided, but also cultural support in a meaningful way that meets their needs."

The model of care is based on "whanaungatanga" or the relationships between and amongst iwi Māori. That is, whakapapa, whanaungatanga, kinship and the knowledge and understanding of local iwi , hapū and whānau networks and Māori Health provider groups. For some patients this can involve networks of people, and occasionally quite large groups can be involved.

The care provided is also supported by acknowledging the cultural values and beliefs of the patient and whānau.

The Ward will often become the interface between the patient and the community to ensure that the patient's discharge is a safe journey for them and ensure other key services are also provided for them. Nursing staff and social workers work with the patient and whānau to make this happen.

District Nurses will follow-up patients after they leave the hospital to ensure their needs are being met at home and Support Net services will also assess the patient with home- care where required. Patients can also be seen at outpatient clinics if further follow up care is required.

"Overall there is good support in the hospital for the Kaupapa Ward and we hope that it will continue into the future," the staff said.

Māori Health development at Tauranga Hospital

1919 - Following the Influenza Epidemic (1918) the Tauranga Hospital Board identified the need to appoint a Native Nurse to service Māori communities and she was provided with a horse and trap until 1933.

1930 - Major typhoid outbreak in the Māori settlement of Matapihi, the Native Nurse still employed to service these settlements and Māori communities.

1989 - Formation of Te Puna Hauora Kaupapa Māori Health Service within Tauranga Hospital.

1999/2000 - Merging of Tauranga Hospital (Western Bay Health) and Whakatane Hospital (Eastern Bay Health) to become Pacific Health.

2001 - Formation of the BOPDHB Māori Health Runanga consisting of representatives from the 18 iwi (tribes) across Mataatua (Bay of Plenty.)

2008 - Opening of Kaupapa Ward by local iwi and Kaumatua.

2009/10 - Amalgamation of Western and Eastern Bay of Plenty Māori Health Services.

2013 - Te Amorangi Kāhui Kaumatua Council (Provider Arm) formed consisting of representatives from the 18 iwi among the Bay of Plenty, Department of Health geographic boundaries.


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Last updated: August 29, 2018