Published Thursday 2 Feb 2023

Two pou (carvings) and Tomokanga (entranceway) were formally unveiled and blessed at the entranceway of the Whānau Care Services’ Cultural Care Centre at Wellington Regional Hospital

Many gathered at the entranceway of the Whānau Care Services’ Cultural Care Centre at Te Puna Waiora, Wellington Regional Hospital recently to see the unveiling and blessing of a new pou.

The cultural piece, created by Māori artist Jim Wiki, was commissioned by the Māori Health Directorate in 2022 to help highlight the centre’s role as a haven for all whānau. The pou is another way for creating more welcoming and inclusive spaces for all patients and their whānau. 

Jim said he hoped the pou and tomokanga, which took him just under five months to complete, will create a space where people feel comfortable at the Cultural Care Centre, and within themselves.

“The biggest significance to [the pou] is that this area is about wairua. It’s a place to rejuvenate your body and mind. I’ve worked in health a long time and I’ve learnt it’s about creating space where people are comfortable. So the carving tells that story and creates that entranceway where whānau and staff can come into this space and rejuvenate, and that’s all part of wairua. That is what I’m hoping this will create.”

On the day of the unveiling, Kaiwhakahaere Ratonga Hauora Māori/GM Māori Health Jane Patterson said, “it has been quite the journey getting here; but having this now is like a beacon for whānau Māori.”

“We have created a space for our Māori, staff, patients and their whānau. A space to be seen and heard, which sometimes is missing in the rest of the hospital,” Jane added.

If you would like to know more about Whānau Care Services’ and what services they provide click here.