DHB signs up for te reo Māori with Massey


MidCentral DHB chief executive Kathryn Cook with Professor Meihana Durie, at the signing of te reo Māori teaching agreement.


Massey University and the MidCentral District Health Board | Te Pae Hauora o Ruahine o Tararua have signed a deal that will help address the growing demands of health leaders and managers in the health sector to increase  knowledge of te reo Māori.

Te Hā o te Reo – The Essence of the Māori Language is an introductory course developed at Massey’s Te Pūtahi-a-Toi, School of Māori Knowledge by senior lecturer and Pūkenga Reo Māori, Hone Morris to assist Massey staff. Now Massey has offered the DHB this programme for its senior executive team. 

The weekly activities and lessons are designed to encourage the acquisition and use of spoken te reo Māori at a basic level along with particular aspects of protocol which assist in establishing an authentic rapport with whānau, hapū and iwi.

Hone Morris says it’s heartening to see the enthusiasm people have for learning te reo, but they often walk away with so much more than a range of new words. “Even this introductory level opens a new world for many people because you cannot learn the language without opening your heart to tikanga and culture. It really is a doorway to greater understanding of te ao Māori (the Māori world) which is vital especially for health professionals.”

MidCentral DHB General Manager Māori Tracee Te Huia says the programme for DHB and THINK Hauora executives is a positive move in the right direction. "It’s fantastic that the executive team of the DHB approached me to set up a te reo programme so that they could partner local iwi and Māori in a more respectful and meaningful way.  I am proud that the team are taking this seriously while having a bit of fun.” 

Deputy Vice Chancellor Māori, Professor Meihana Durie says the DHB initiative is indicative of the increasing demand for Te Reo Māori in the workplace.   

“This is another exciting development for Te Pūtahi-a-Toi as it continues to help meet the increasing demand for Te Reo in the workplace," he says. "This kaupapa represents the start of an important relationship with MidCentral District Health Board.  Their strong commitment to te reo Māori and Tikanga Māori we know, will also lead to positive outcomes in terms of engagement with whānau across multiple health settings.  Hone brings a tremendous depth of knowledge and expertise to his teaching in ways that emphasise each dimension of Te Whare Tapa Whā, and this approach will resonate with our participants and the nature of their work. ”

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