New Te Oranganui CEO to focus on poor health prevention

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: West Coast

Whanganui's iwi health authority Te Oranganui has a new CEO. Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata says she would like to see more of a focus on the prevention of poor health in the region, rather than the treatment of it.

To empower whānau into their future- that's the mission statement of the Whanganui iwi health authority, Te Oranganui.

They welcome their new CEO, Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata just in time for Christmas.

Walsh-Tapiata says, "I feel honored that the board, the staff, and my iwi have allowed me to come home and work amongst them."

Te Oranganui contracts to the Whanganui District Health Board as well as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Justice. 

Walsh-Tapiata says Whānau Ora's holistic family approach to well-being is a key part of Te Oranganui's operations.

"Despite the government contracts, all of our staff must continue implementing the Whānau Ora framework right across the board."

A 2015 study found that 51 percent of Whanganui Māori live in the two most deprived decile areas compared to 31 percent of non-Māori. 

Walsh-Tapiata says she wants to focus on the prevention of poor health rather than the treatment of it.

"One of my biggest aims is to reach out and support families before it gets to the point where they are needing our services or services like ours."

Walsh-Tapiata is responsible for of leading the organisation's 174 staff.