A respected member of the Māori community has joined the Southern DHB as Kaumātua, based at Dunedin Hospital.
Matapura Ellison is part of the Māori Health Directorate Leadership team and his position is of a resource, advisory and consultative nature. In addition, he will strengthen connections to the communities throughout the Otago catchment. The appointment complements the Southland-based Kaumātua position undertaken by Mohi Timoko.
“I am honoured to be part of this team and hope I will add value to the important work the Māori Health Directorate is already doing, building better pathways to healthcare services and facilitating improved health outcomes for Māori in Otago and Southland,” Mr Ellison said, following a mihi whakatau at Wakari this week.
The Southern Māori Health Plan is a whole of health system approach to help improve Māori health and address disparities through a structured implementation and reporting framework focused on the particular needs of the Māori community.
“There is a wide range of work being done here targeted at improving health services for Māori and eliminating inequalities,” said Chris Fleming, Southern DHB Chief Executive. “There have already been many measurable improvements, including higher immunisations rates among Māori tamariki, a greater percentage of whom are fully vaccinated at aged two and five years than for the population as a whole.”
“But this is just the start and I know Matapura, with his strong community connections, will be instrumental in helping us to improve Māori access to healthcare services.”
Executive Director Māori Health, Pania Coote said “I am pleased to welcome Matapura to the team and acknowledged his range of experience at a governance level and the value this will add to the role.”
Born and raised in East Otago, Mr Ellison is chair of the Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki and Rūnaka representative to Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu.