The Ngāti Hine Health Trust had its origins in the Motatau Marae Komiti which, in 1987, formed a health sub-committee to address health needs of the Motatau community.
From 1990 to 1992 the Marae Komiti obtained funding from the Health Research Council to train Kaiāwhina and carry out a Ngāti Hine household health status survey. A second allocation of funding from Te Hotu Manawa Māori was secured to carry out a Rheumatic Fever prevention project. Together the trained Kaiāwhina, the household survey and the Rheumatic Fever project provided the basis of submissions to the Regional Health Authority to establish Hauora Ngāti Hine as it was then, as a contracted service provider.
It was April 1992 when the Ngāti Hine Health Trust was officially formed. A special relationship with the Regional Health Authority, evidenced by a Treaty-based Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 1994, as a precursor to the Trust’s entry into service delivery. The Trust’s first service contract was for provision of Mobile Community Nursing Services.
Having established itself in the delivery of a comprehensive range of mobile nursing, residential and community health services, and through the recognition of the underlying social determinants of health, over the following 24 years the Trust has expanded to encompass social, disability, education and media services.
Working at Ngāti Hine Health Trust
Who are the kaimahi at Ngāti Hine Health Trust?
What is your name? Hine Rihari
What service do you work for? Hauora Whanui
What’s your position? Community Health Worker
How long have you worked for NHHT ? 19 years
I am a qualified Enrolled Nurse (EN) so I support the Registered Nurses in their work. But my work is so varied, I visit people in their homes to do health checks (blood pressure, diabetes, oxygen levels etc). And for over 10 years I’ve been travelling to monthly Outreach Clinics in remote Mid North communities and doing the same.
I trained as a nurse at Kaitaia Hospital 54 years ago. When I got married we lived in Kawakawa but my husband was killed in 1974 leaving me a widow with 4 young children and 2 mortgages so I went back to work nursing at Bay of Islands Hospital and I’ve been working as a nurse ever since. I worked in every area in my 25 years at the hospital (surgical, outpatients, paediatric etc) so I have a long working life full of experience in all aspects of nursing.
When I first started, the community nurses covered the various health needs of all the whanau. My area was Moerewa and at any one time I had about 600 clients in my book to visit. I used to cover the area street by street and it took 6 weeks to cover the whole town. I saw all ages from babies to kaumatua and I found that whanau would be expecting my visit and looking out for me. In one home I might do checks on, say, the nana for her diabetes, the mum for her asthma, the Dad’s high blood pressure, check on the baby and look at the kid’s hakihakis (school children were under the public health nurse but I was always willing to have a look and refer them on). Actually referring clients on to registered nurses, their GP and other services was a big part of my job but whanau knew and trusted me so they preferred to ask me first.
I developed a very close relationship with whanau so that often I was their first call if one of my patients died and I would go and support them through the grieving and death process. Now, it’s more compartmentalised into specialist nurses for Tamariki Ora, heart health, asthma etc. I really miss the whanaungatanga of how it was then.
I am a breast cancer survivor and I am a volunteer with the Cancer Society to be a support person for Maori cancer sufferers. I am the only Maori breast cancer volunteer in Northland and I’m often called upon to support people from all over Te Taitokerau.