Topics: Health, Rereātea - Midday News, Te Reo Māori

Te reo medical check-ups for teddy bears

By Jessica Tyson
  • South Island

Dunedin's Teddy Bear Hospital, where children can have their toys diagnosed and treated, is back this week - and for the first time consultations are being undertaken in te reo Māori.

The hospital is run by Otago medical students to help them gain experience consulting with children and their toys.

Throughout the week children from kindergartens have brought in toys to receive x-rays, all leading up to the Community Day on Saturday.

During Community Day consultations will be done in te reo Māori with the hope of attracting more Māori children.

Medical student Courtney Sullivan, of Ngāti Awa, Taranaki and Ngāti Maru, says tamariki don't get much exposure to te reo outside of school.

"So the more we can normalise te reo Māori, the more they begin to see that te reo Māori is important and don't let go of it once they leave the classroom".

Co-ordinator Alex Dempsey, of Ngāti Rarua and Te Arawa, says there are a number of ways the sessions have been able to help the students and tamariki.

"As medical students, we learn about how Māori are overrepresented in the health statistics, and we need to get some awareness out there about approaching medical care and making it fun”.

Community Day will be held from 10.30am to 2.30pm tomorrow at Hunter Centre, Frederick St, Dunedin.