Te Kōkī refers to the bird song chorus when manu of all kinds gather at dawn to sing and kōrero together. When they stop singing there is an immediate silence and they flit back to their various places of mahi and habitation until the next kōkī.
Te Kōkī Hauora is the name given to the gathering of manu hauora to kōrero and meet (online and kānohi ki te kānohi – face to face). In this context, the network refers specifically to Māori working within mainstream Public Health Units (PHU’s) throughout Aotearoa
Te Kōkī Hauora (Māori Public Health Network) was established in June 2020, from the increasing pressures that Māori workforce within Public Health Units were experiencing. Covid19 exacerbated inequities and institutional failures that already existed within Public Health services. Therefore, there is some urgency to support the Māori workforce to minimise future workforce turnover and to prepare the sector for ongoing and future public health challenges. The roopu focused on their immediate need to;
- Have a safe place to kōrero with other Māori experiencing the same issues
- Providing collegial and cultural support
- Sharing intelligence from across hapori Māori, and lessons learnt
- Discussing Public Health issues that required attention whilst dealing with a pandemic
As a response to the challenges of inequities and growing pressures on Māori workforce an opportunity was sought to collaborate with Waikato DHB, Māori Health Equity Directorate and the MOH, Māori Health Directorate to host a Public Health symposium. The aim of the day was to explore effective ways of sharing Māori Covid19 learning and practises to strengthen our public health response. The outcome of this symposium can be found here. Te Ao Hou Symposium report.
The roopu continued to hui online and after the completion of a SWOT analysis in June 2021, it was agreed to approach Public Health Association to umbrella the roopu moving forward. TKH sought this support due to the high level of trust and confidence that they had in Grant Berghan and Leah Bain. Since then, PHA have advocated the needs of TKH and have worked with Ministry of Health to acknowledge that even though there has been effort made to build Māori workforce and increase their participation in decision-making and service delivery, more needs to be done to create these conditions for change.
Te Kōkī Hauora will be hosted by the Public Health Association on the 26 August, in Rotorua at the Hikitia te Wairua waananga. The waananga will be an opportunity to validate the experiences of the past, but most importantly for Te Kōkī Hauora whānau to reconnect, and establish tools to build resiliency as individuals and roopu hauora.