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Fiona Wiremu, Chair of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua is ecstatic that “Mataatua whānau will be better represented on a national scale, as Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Chief Executive Dr Chris Tooley has been elected to the interim Māori Health Authority board”.  

Ms Wiremu is pleased with the endeavors of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua, Māori organisations and community led providers across Mataatua to work collectively to address the inequities Māori experience within the current health system.

The need for multiple interventions, that are innovative and grounded within a kaupapa Māori cultural framework will add value to the overall health system.

His appointment follows a recruitment process held between May and July, that was led by Sir Mason Durie, and members of a Steering Group, including Dr Matire Harwood, Parekawhia McLean, Tā Mark Solomon, Rāhui Papa, Kim Ngārimu, Amohaere Houkamau and Lisa Tumahai.

The group, chosen by Tā Mason, used their knowledge, background and mana across Māori health, Whānau Ora, iwi leadership, and governance roles, to identify high-performing candidates to provide governance leadership to the interim Māori Health Authority.

A shortlist of names went to Cabinet and, following agreement of the identified candidates, Te Puna Ora o Mataatua Chief Executive Dr Chris Tooley has been confirmed as one of those to be appointed to the interim board.

Reacting to the news, Dr Tooley says it’s an honour to be elected.

“I am proud to be representing the hauora needs of not only Mataatua whānau, but all whānau, in this role.

“The Māori Health Authority is about enabling Māori to exercise meaningful leadership and control over their hauora – and it is a privilege to facilitate this mahi on behalf of our whānau.”

The interim board’s role going forward will be to give Māori a voice and influence in how the health system needs to perform better for Maori.

Dr Chris Tooley brings to the role more than a decade of work in the Māori health field, and a strong political background.

He has been the Chief Executive of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua for more than 5 years and is also the Co-Chair of the Bay of Plenty Regional Skills Leadership Group, Member of the NEMA Ministerial Advisory Committee and Lead Technician for Iwi Leaders Chairs Hauora Group.

He says, as with all his work, healthcare equity is at the forefront of what he hopes to achieve through this new role.

“I hope through the Māori Health Authority we are able to continue to break down barriers when it comes to whānau Māori accessing quality healthcare in Aotearoa.”

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