About Te Kōhao Health

Tikanga Māori, Te Reo Māori, Cultural Identity and Mātauranga Māori

Te Kōhao Health is a Marae based Provider of health, social, employment, Whānau ora, education and justice services to a predominantly Māori (80%) client base. There has been extensive research over the years (which has coincided with our experience over 25 years) that Te Reo me ona tikanga are key components of building strong, health and prosperous whānau.

New research has shown that Te Reo Māori even acts as a protective factor against diabetes and other health ailments (Teng, Scott et al. 2019). Therefore incorporating Te Ao Māori (tikanga Māori, Te Reo Māori, Cultural identity and mātauranga Māori) into our organisation and our operations is essential if we are to serve our whānau Māori in a way that is engaging, enlightening and empowering. (Durie, 2009).

Along with our Strategy, Vision and core values which are all derived from Mātauranga Māori we have implemented Whānau ora across the organisation. Whānau ora ensures that Te Ao Māori is permeated throughout all we do, that whānau are at the centre as ‘drivers’ and ‘directors’ of their own destiny. Whānau direct our services and in doing so their tino rangatiratanga is upheld and maintained. Our comprehensive, whānau centred solutions have been time tested and incorporate tailored supports that address the social, health and sometimes justice issues that create educational and employment barriers for whānau.  Central to our delivery are philosophies and principles that are underpinned by Te Ao Māori (Mātauranga Māori).

Our strategic direction is encapsulated by the Te Kōhao Health vision:

“Kia whakatinanatia ko te ihi, ko te wehi, ko te wana me te hauoranga ō te whānau”

Living our Tino Rangatiratanga through Strong, Healthy, Vibrant and Prosperous Whānau.

Our premise is that core Māori values and social constructs are effective in helping people of all ethnicities restore balance. This has proven itself continuously over the decades and we cannot stress enough that this approach is of value regardless of the cultural context – it is not just applicable to Māori.

The Māori Health promotion model Te Pae Mahutonga (a Health Promotion Model developed by Professor Sir Mason Durie, 2011) is a key component of our whānau ora model. The Te Pae Mahutonga model identifies cultural identity (Mauriora) as fundamental to Hauora Māori and for rangatahi in particular, disconnection from Te Āo Māori inhibits personal development. The Te Pae Mahutonga model is holistic and gives us a platform from which to ‘scan’ for areas of need and address those immediately. Mauriora is the one area where whānau continually need support.

Part of our Team Charter (Company expectations of staff and whānau) is Te Reo me ona Tikanga: where staff commit to learning Te Reo Māori me ona tikanga and applying it in their mahi. This illustrates to all staff that Te Kōhao’s expectation of Kaimahi that Te Reo me ona tikanga be learned and delivered to whānau. We have had a number of staff who have completed Te Tohu Pae Tahi at Te Wānanga ō Aotearoa, three of our General Practitioners being among them.

Free expression of Tikanga Māori, Te Reo Māori, Cultural Identity and Mātauranga Māori

Along with our annual Treaty Training, regular Team Meetings discussions and heavy participation in nationally significant Treaty of Waitangi claims, the Treaty is a part of Te Kōhao’s practice and engagement with  whānau . As mentioned above, by supporting  whānau  in the identification of the goals, support and navigation (active protection)  in the delivery of those,  whānau  are able to exercise tino rangatiratanga (self-determination), participate  in society, and be autonomous in their plans (and Pae Aronui is a key part of that autonomy ) for the future.  This all culminates in equity, thus meeting the needs of Māori, Pasifika and other ethnicities.

Te Kōhao Health is a member of the National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA), the Hauraki Primary Health Organisation (PHO) and Lead Provider for the Te Ngira Whānau Ora Collective commissioned by Te Pou Matakana. These relationships are essential to ensuring Te Kōhao can continue to meet the core needs of whānau.

Te Kōhao has refined its service delivery to whānau, having responded to feedback from whānau, adopted learnings from other indigenous whānau and streamlined our services into a multidisciplinary team approach that we have called 'Kia Kotahi'. This method is to ensure that whānau receive targeted holistic health care when they need it. Furthermore, this will ensure whānau have mana motuhake (control and ownership) over their health and wellbeing.

With new technologies and systems, we are always looking at ways to make this process easier for our clients.

“I was down in the dumps, it was a stressful time. I had no money for food, after my bills were taken out each week I would have $9.00 left. Te Kōhao and the team have helped me turn things around. They helped me access food, I now have a great doctor, I sought budget advice, my older sister is now enrolled in the clinic and is enjoying the services available. Things are on the up. In fact, my sister and I are looking at opening a business to help youth.”

The Mission of Te Kōhao

He roopu whakataki mo te oranga pai ki nga Iwi o Aotearoa
me te ao whānui i raro i te mana o Tiriti me ngā Tikanga.

A leading enabler of health for the people of Aotearoa and worldwide delivered within Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Tikanga. He maungarongo ki te mata o te whenua. Arohaina ngā whānau katoa.

Peace on earth and goodwill to all. Caring for each other. Kia Māori ai. Normalising good health and wellbeing, innovation, entrepreneurship and success.

The Vision of Te Kōhao

"Kia whakatinanatia ko te ihi, ko te wehi, ko te wana me te
hauoranga o te whānau"

The English translation is “Living their Tino Rangatiratanga through Strong, Healthy, Vibrant and Prosperous Whānau”. This vision is a reflection to our past history to a time when our people once thrived as individuals, as whānau, hapu and Iwi. This vision gives us directional purpose in our mahi at Te Kōhao and can only be achieved when we are fully committed to contributing.

Te Kōhao History

Established in 1994 on Kirikiriroa Marae, Te Kōhao was a joint venture between Kirikiriroa Marae and the Union Trust. King Kiingi Tuheitia is the Patron of Kirikiriroa Marae, and his wife Te Atawhai Paki is the Patron of Te Kōhao. Kirikiriroa Marae adheres to the tikanga and kawa of Tainui of tauutuutu or tu mai tu atu is taken from the whakatauki of the first Māori King, Pōtatatau Te Wherowhero:
Kotahi ano te kōhao o te ngira. E kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero. I muri i ahau, kia mau ki te aroha, ki te ture me te whakapono.

There is but one eye of the needle through which the white, black and red threads must pass. After I am gone, hold fast to the love, to the law, and to the faith. Literally, Te Kōhao means the eye of the needle or entrance way for everyone, no matter what their iwi, ethnicity, religion or language. All are welcome here. Te Kōhao was born from He moemoe nga Kirikiriroa Marae Whanau, that recognised the Marae as a natural gathering place for urban Māori and whānau from all other ethnicities.

Seeds were sown to develop the Marae to meet the needs of whānau by giving them urban access to all aspects of living including cultural, social, health, justice and education services.

In the paternal context, Kirikiriroa Marae gave birth to Te Kōhao and nurtured it in its infancy to grow healthy and be useful. This has achieved a moemoea to develop the Marae as a one stop shop for the benefit and wellbeing of whānau. As the demand for services increased, our Kaumatua Wikuki Kingi in his wisdom encouraged Te Kōhao to design and build a facility to accommodate. It was now time for Te Kōhao to leave home and grow up in the world.

Build it and they
will come

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Against all odds, under the direction of our Kaumatua, coupled with absolute faith Atua, Te Kōhao received sponsorship, support and investment from many members of our community. In May 2009, its first Whānau Ora Centre was opened.


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Mariameno Kapa-Kingi, Nō Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu ki Whaingaroa

Mariameno has been a director of Te Kohao Health since 2005 and the chair since 2009. She has been instrumental in the development of Te Kohao Health in its early beginnings since her involvement in 1999. She has strong community knowledge in working with government departments, particularly in the area Child, Youth and Family, Suicide Prevention, and is culturally knowledgeable.

Te Rangi Martell, Nō Waikato, Te Whānau Apanui, Ngaitai, Whakatohea

The Deputy-Chair is the Manager for Kirikiriroa Marae which has developed strong relationships with the hapu and iwi of Waikato, Hauraki, Raukawa and Maniapoto as well as other regions nationally. She is also represented on other community trusts which includes Te Runanga o Kirikririoa Urban Māori authority.

Koroneihana Cooper, Nō Waikato, Tainui

Koroneihana has been a director of Te Kohao Health since 2011 and is of Waikato Tainuidecent. He was raised at Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia and was honoured with a QSM. He is an exponent of te reo Māori, tikanga and karakia tawhito and brings with him awide knowledge and understanding of governance. Koroneihana has a wide and influential network of government and non-governments agencies. His expertise and leadership is widely recognised by the Police in the Waikato District, the Royal New Zealand Police College and Te Puni Kokiri. Described by those who know him as a gentle, humble man, he uses his considerable wisdom and knowledge willingly to assist where ever he can to build a strong foundation around the wellbeing and quality of life of the Waikato community

Owen Purcell, Nō Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hawea

Owen chairs two community groups in Hamilton city and is well connected with Kaumatua in the city through the Rauaawaawa Community Trust.

Lady Tureiti Moxon, Nō Ngāti Pahauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu, Kai Tahu

Lady Tureiti Moxon has been the Managing Director of Te Kōhao Health since 2002. Te Kōhao provides primary care, education, justice and social services to the wider Waikato region. More recently she has established Te Puna Wai Oranga Healing Services (hyperbaric oxygen and electro-magnetic therapy), a first for Hamilton. Te Kōhao is an urban service provider based at Kirikiriroa Marae. Tureiti is of Ngāti Pāhauwera, Ngāti Kahungunu and Kai Tahu descent and has served as a trustee of the Ngāti Pahauwera Development Trust since 2008. She was also part of the negotiating team who settled their treaty claim in 2012. Tureiti comes from a legal background specialising in Māori land law, Treaty Claims and Civil Law and chairs the National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA). She is a claimant in the Wai 1315 Health Claim which was filed in 2005 and is to be heard before the Waitangi Tribunal in October 2018. She has extensive governance experience as a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and is known for her cutting edge innovation.
Senior Management
Lady Tureti Moxon
Managing Director
Tureiti graduated from the Waikato University with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and began work as a Barrister and Solicitor with McCaw Lewis, Chapman prior to becoming the Managing Director of Te Kohao Health. Tureiti has a background in early childhood education in Te Kohanga Reo as the Coordinator of Te Kohanga Reo, establishing many Kohanga Reo across the North Island. She is the Deputy Chair of the Kirikiriroa Family Services Trust, a Trustee on the Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa Maori Urban Authority and a member of the Waikato DHB Iwi Maori Council. Tureiti’s commitment comes from her personal belief in “Ko te amorangi ki mua, Ko te hapai o ki muri” – “Honour what is sacred first, and everything else will find its way.
Denise Kingi
General Manager
Denise has been with the company since it first began. She has a nursing, health promotion background and has developed strong community networks.  Denise's active involvement with education began with Kohanga Reo being part of the Kohanga Reo Whānau that helped establish a Kura Kaupapa in Hamilton. This naturally led to active involvement in Kura for ten years and she later served as a member of the board for Nga Tai Atea Wharekura. Denise has extensive experience working in the community and particularly schools, providing health education and promotion. This promotion and education has been and continues to be delivered to education students in secondary and tertiary institutions both locally and with international students.
Nadine Hapuku
General Manager
Nadine has extensive experience working within the Public and Health sectors. Twelve years in the Department of Justice in, Community Corrections and Community Probation, Nadine was awarded the highly esteemed Justice Gold Pin for her service.  A recipient of the Nga Ahuatanga Scholarship Nadine completed Post Grad qualification in Public Sector Management. Seconded to Head Office, she was part of the rollout of national computer systems including the Financial Management Information System (FMIS), Community Offender Management System (COMS) and its successor the Integrated Offender Management System (IOMS). Before leaving the Corrections she trained as an auditor and was the Regional Quality Improvement Advisor.
Kiri Moxon
Executive Assistant
Kiri joined Te Kōhao Health in 2012 bringing knowledge and experience in training, development and implementation of programmes. Kiri completed her Bursary in Māori at the age of 14 and then further advanced her Reo at University and minored in Māori as part of her degree. She has also completed a Master of Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago. Throughout her employment history, Kiri has been involved in many of the business systems to ensure they meet both funding requirements and function to their full capacity so as to better serve whānau and the wider community.
Nieva Buhay
Financial Controller
Nieva’s is of Pilipino descent but has lived in Aotearoa NZ since 1990. Her career spans more than 35 years and the range of skills and achievements reflects the varying types of roles and organisations she has worked in. The most recent role is business analysis and advisory for metropolitan institutes of technology and polytechnics at the Tertiary Education Commission. Before this, most recent roles have been primarily corporate functions drawing on her strategic advice and financial management skills
Gali Poihipi
Best Practice Advisor
Gail has been with Te Kōhao Health over 7 years and has a wealth of experience in social services and community working, including management and leadership. She is heavily involved with iwi, hapu and marae initiatives and projects. Gail has an extensive history working with youth and at-risk whānau over the past 30 years. Gail is involved in planning, implementing and monitoring various projects with Te Kōhao Health and externally. Gail has been a key component in the success of the Whānau Ora implementation and organisation transformation.
Kowhai Team
Val Rippey
Team Leader
Team Kowhai brings together a range of services for our aging population including Home Base Support Services, Kaumatua Day Programme, Maori Disability Support Services, Gambling Addiction Prevention Counsellors, Advanced Care Planning Assessors and Active Plus Services. All services apply a Whānau Ora lens when supporting whanau needs.Val is driven by the desire and passion of achieving the best outcomes for whānau that choose to access the teams services. Val is heavily involved with her Marae, and the Whaingaroa community, ensuring there is a Maori presence in decision making within the community.
Karaka Team
Jonas Hapuku
Team Leader
Team Karaka has and education focus, providing Integrated Attendance Services throughout the Waikato, Poipoia Te Mokopuna, Project Energize in Schools, Te Kahukiranga and Te Kete Aronui. Applying a Whānau Ora lens and primarily driving the achievement of targets set by the Ministry of Education provides the perfect environment for team karaka to respond to clear and methodical leadership.Jonas demonstrates a commitment to the importance of achieving an education having graduated with a masters degree in business administration and serving two consecutive terms as Chair on the Board of Trustees for two Hamilton schools.
Whānau Ora Team
Mark Tumai
Project Manager
The Whānau Ora Team are our essential front line kaiarahi that work alongside whānau.  They work for whānau in crisis to reduce barriers to housing, income support, household basic needs, employment, training and more vexing issues such as reducing domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse.  Te Pae Oranga, Iwi Panel members operate out of the Whānau Ora team, as do the Ministry of Social Development funded Emergency Housing Kaiarahi. Mark has been managing in the health sector and providing front line and emergency services in a clinical setting for a long time,  He knows well how to support whānau who are in need.  Tasked to primarily lead the collective impact project in the Whānau Ora space, Mark works with the Whānau Ora partners in the Te Ngira Collective, supporting the shared agenda to reduce barriers to employment and training.
Miro o Te Ora Team
Linda Elgar
Team Leader
Miro O Te Ora is the General Practice Team that provides essential Medical services from its main Hamilton East Clinic as well as its satellite clinics in Melville and Enderley.   Linda has worked in Primary Health ast a Primary Health Organisation level, seeking to bring positive changes for whānau by tracking closer the quality of service provided by our medical services.  Now the Team Leader of Miro o Te Ora, Linda is passionate about providing a consistent and quality standard of clinical services.  
Manaakitangata Team
Chris Henoa
Team Leader
Manaakitangata brings together our business initiatives in Ngā Puna Wai Oranga Rongoā Services, Kuki’s Café and the Taonga Shop - Puipuiaki.
Chris manages these business initiatives and brings with him years of retail and hospitality experience, infused with a strong Kapahaka and Māori background to support whānau, local artists and also rangatahi looking for a career in retail, holistic health and hospitality.
Nga Puna Konungahunga
Tere Gilbert
Tumuaki (Principal)
Tere is the Tumuaki (Principal) of Te Kōhao Kōhungahunga where she has been since February 2015.She has been responsible for all aspects of the establishment of the Kōhunghunga, including staff recruitment and training, designing and implementation of the curriculum, planning and compliance.Prior to that she was the Kaitiaki (Head Teacher) at Te Kōhanga Reo o Nga KuakaIn Hamilton from 1994 -­‐ 2002 and was instrumental in the development of the Kōhanga Reo, and in the Implementation of a quality learning environment. Tere is highly qualified with a strong combination of business and education degrees, including specific qualifications in Te Reo and ECE education. In the course of her career, Tere has developed strong manage.
Te Pou Taurahere
Rei Mihaere
Team Leader
Kikorangi Team
Team Leader
Team “Kikorangi" comprises of the community clinical services including, Well Child / Tamariki Ora, Chronic Disease, Cardiac and Stroke Rehabilitation and Primary Mental Health. Frontline staff they are funded to deliver frontline clinical services in the community, they are teamed up with very experienced and essential Whānau Ora Kaiarahi.