Waka Hourua Community Initiative: Ngāti Awa Social & Health Services

by Angus Elkington


Established in 1989 to provide Matua Whangai Services to Iwi, the organisation has since grown into an approved iwi provider of health and Social Services, and is the largest integrated Māori provider in the eastern Bay of Plenty. In 1997 Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa merged its social services and health policy arms to form a comprehensive social and health service known as the Ngāti Awa Social and Health Services Trust (NASH).

NASH has since reverted back to the given name prescribed by its Ngāti Awa kaumātua, “Te Tohu O Te Ora O Ngāti Awa”, as a reflection of the organisations continued drive to provide and reflect a more culturally and spiritually ground service to the Iwi of Ngāti Awa and wider community (http://www.Ngātiawa.iwi.nz/cms/view/te-tohu-o-te-ora-o-ng%C4%81ti-awa.aspx).

Te Tohu O Te Ora O Ngāti Awa’s involvement in suicide prevention has been ongoing since 2001 when Ngāti Awa delivered the Kia Piki Te Ora o Ngā Taitamariki Service (Youth Suicide Prevention). The organisation helped a support group for whānau in 2012, who had been impacted by suicide in Kawerau. Further action in 2013, saw the involvement of Te Tohu O Te Ora O Ngāti Awa in supporting whānau (family) whose taiohi had put a suicide pact in place in the Ngāti Awa rohe. Examples as described above have brought whānau, taiohi (youth), koroua (male elder), kuia (female elder), hapū (subtribe) and community members together, seeking the capability, knowledge and skills to prevent suicide.

Publication Details

ISBN978-1-877412-53-0 (ELECTRONIC), 978-1-877412-54-7 (PRINT)
CITATIONElkington, A. (2016). Waka Hourua Community Initiative: Ngāti Awa Social & Health Services. Wellington, New Zealand: Te Kīwai Rangahau, Te Rau Matatini.