Hutt Hospital's Audiology & ENT team recently celebrated their commitment to Te Ao Māori by placing four Whakataukī (Māori proverbs) posters along their ward.
The posters wording and imagery – which symbolise positive connection along with the Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand’s kaupapa of equity with and for Māori – have all come from renowned book, ‘Mauri Ora – wisdom from the Māori world’. The authors gave permission to use these images for this purpose and the improvement of well-being.
Ear, nose and throat surgeon Dr Rebecca Garland said blessing the new posters along ENTs ward was a significant day.
“Today is a celebration of the expression of the commitment from Audiology and ENT interacting with Te Ao Māori,” she said.
“These posters are part of that expression but they’re much more than just something you can look at and say ‘that’s nice’. These posters show and express strong values, and we want to live by those values to support Māori whānau to have good ear and hearing health.
“Sometimes when people have come to the hospital they’ve had previous bad experiences. Some experiences maybe racist, some might be traumatic. That’s why we chose the posters because they’re a physical expression and a way of reminding patients, their whānau, and us practitioners of the values of Te Whatu Ora connecting together with Māori and the community, and the humanness of connecting together. With all these positive imagery, we can be reminded of that in a positive way on a daily basis.”
Rawiri Hirini, Allied Professions Māori Lead HVCC| Pou Tikanga Māori HVCC, was equally complimentary of the posters believing they were a step in the right direction.
“From a Māori perspective this is about indigenising spaces, but I think it’s a step further than that. We’ve been able to find a shared space that’s more aligned to the direction that we’re moving towards as a nation and in order to do that, the posters are a small action to envisage what that might look like.
“Having more bilingual messages and Māori concepts present within an environment that’s not traditionally Māori really helps to enable and foster a more inclusive service. Just as these posters reflect the kinds of values we are working towards, they are also a helpful reminder when we’re lost in the weeds and the depth of the nature of our roles – sometimes simple proverbs like that can help bring us back.”
Rawiri led the Audiology and ENT team in a karakia of welcome and protection for the posters in the hope that they will bring greater connection with Māori and the community in a hospital environment.