Topic: Health

Māori optometrist nominated for work with kaumātua

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

The Māori Womans Development Inc. Awards recognises Māori businesswoman who use their business to encourage and develop the communities they live in.

Renata Watene, owner-operator of Occhiali Optometrists has been nominated for an award for her mahi with kaumātua from Auckland based iwi, Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei.

"It's really nice to get recognition for a service that I'm really passionate about," says Watene.

The mission which drives Watene is helping the blind to see.

27 kauimātua have now benefited from the service. 

Vision impairment is not just an issue for the elderly, it's an issue seen among the younger generation.  The service provides kaumātua and kuia with eye checks, reports, advice and ongoing examinations.

Watene says, "You've only got one set of eyes and you don't want to find out how important they are after you've lost vision".

Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta will be presenting the awards this Saturday in Wellington at Te Papa Tongarewa.