Te Pātaka - Te Rau Matatini

The Innovation: Te Pātaka Uara

Te Rau Matatini logoTe Pātaka Uara represents a collaboration of thoughts and aspirations that have been expressed by Māori across the motu.  It aims to celebrate, reflect, recognise and acknowledge the skills and attributes of a unique Māori health workforce. 

Te Pātaka Uara is designed to enhance the competencies of the kaimahi Māori workforce, who provide a range of services for whānau and their communities.  It also hopes to inspire Māori communities by providing an opportunity to engage in a career pathway which celebrates the role of kaimahi working alongside whānau. 

Whānau Ora is the ultimate outcome which will be achieved when whānau feel empowered and are self-determining and active in achieving their own solutions.  The kaimahi Māori role is integral to this outcome. 

Te Rau Matatini – Te Pātaka Uara

Pahia Turia, Te Rau Matatini: Te Rau Matatini secured a contract through the Ministry of Health Health Innovations Fund called Te Ao Auahatanga, which was to put together a competency framework and career pathway – which really was an opportunity to acknowledge and recognise the many years of work that the non-regulated Māori health workforce had contributed.  They make up 75% of the total Māori health workforce.  So Te Pātaka Uara became the name that was given to the programme.

Te Pātaka Uara was based upon a whakatauki from one of my koroua, Rangitini Tauparae, and he says “Mai te urunga o ngaitai o te iwi Māori ki roto i ngā kawae mātauranga o tauiwi.  Inā, onotia te peka Māori ki te rākau rawao, e rerekē tono hua me te rongo o tōna kiko.  Kāti, tēnei te waka hoki ki ngā pai aka, a kui mā, a koro mā.

So the pātaka is made up of a kaupapa that actually informed best practice, and best practice as defined by our people, and best practice meaning producing best results.  So we’ve used utilised very generic kaupapa – manaakitanga, rangatiratanga, kotahitanga, whanaungatanga.  Kaupapa, really, that have a generic application to just about every iwi throughout the motu.  I think when we talk to people about particular kaupapa, such as whanaungatanga or manaakitanga, there’s many interpretations of that.  And I suppose what the pātaka tries to do is to capture that as a way of working with whānau that’ll actually improve outcomes for whānau.

Mate Chase, Mahitahi Trust: One of kaimahi from up North who looked at her values that she was raised with, and made the comparison to one the uara, like manaakitanga.  And in their value, manaakitanga was about hosting guests at their home.  But when she saw that there was a structure that validated her values, she felt good and she felt, “Yes, I do have something to contribute to my whānau and to the whānau out in the community.  Yes this is valuable.”  It gave their own value systems value.

Donna Sayer, Muaūpoko Tribal Authority: What Te Pātaka Uara has allowed me to do is to highlight the things that I do well.  So on a day to day basis Te Pātaka Uara forms the foundations of my practice.

Reweti Te Mete, Ngā Mataapuna Oranga: Our organisation highlights itself as a kaupapa Māori organisation.  So Te Pātaka Uara gives us those values, gives us the opportunity and pathways to stay true to that.  Some of these key uara, which in most cases don’t really get mentioned or don’t get the acknowledgement that they deserve, but they’re key aspects of our culture and also on how we identify ourselves – as Māori, as Māori working in the hauora industry.

Te Pātaka Uara Wānanga, Ngā Mataapuna Oranga: The pātaka first and foremost is reflecting upon oneself, and one’s own practice – not in a professional capacity, but your practice as a member of your whānau.

Janice Kuka, Ngā Mataapuna Oranga: Te Pātaka Uara has, for us I think, gave a more clearer insight into how we could practice Whānau Ora.  I’ve seen most of our staff have more confidence.  I’ve seen them have clarity around now what they’re supposed to do and how to do it.  I think the interpersonal reaction with our people has been much improved.

Mokoera Te Amo, Poupoua Trust: Kei te mohio pai te iwi Māori ki ngā uara.  Ki te ruru kua ki te roto i tēnei kaupapa Te Pātaka Uara.  Kei te mōhio tātou, e ora ana tēnei kaupapa ki roto i te ngākau, ki roto i te wairua, ki roto i te mauri.  Otirā, this framework is always living inside of us anyway.  What the framework and the training did for me was to look at ourselves first.  Be the living representation of Te Pātaka Uara, before we can therefore move it out onto our whānau.

Pahia Turia, Te Rau Matatini: Te Pātaka Uara was developed based on the notion that, you know, it’s a privilege to work with our whānau – it’s not one’s right to.  And with that privilege there must come a set of expectations  around your competence.

Donna Sayer, Muaūpoko Tribal Authority: I think the biggest difference is actually the whānau, not me because I have a different skill set now with which I can deal with them.  And I think whānau enjoy the experience.  Some of our at-risk whānau have been dealt to, as opposed to dealt with.

Nicki Broughton, Te Rarawa: My family and I have been through the pakeha system and there wasn’t that manaakitanga and aroha and whānau feeling.  It’s more being accepted, not being judged for the issues that I have with what actually put me into Whānau Ora in the beginning.  And with Mita coming in and looking after my boys, he just fully tautoko-ed everything my boys did and said.  And just took them on as his own, his own kids.  We weren’t just a number on their books.

Reweti Te Mete, Ngā Mataapuna Oranga: Ko ēnei uara katoa i roto i Te Pātaka Uara, ka rehe he mea hou.  Engari ra, he kaupapa, he uara, kua mōhiotia roa e tia nei e mātou.  I te mea, ko ēnei kaupapa katoa kei roto i a mātou, kei te whatumanawa o te tangata.  Na reira, he māmā, he ngāwari, ma te tangata, ma te kaimahi, ma te whānau rānei.  Hei whakapāringa atu, hei whakakoi, hei whakanui, hei whakamana ā, i taua tangata, i taua whānau, i taua whare hauora ano hoki.

About Te Rau Matatini

Te Rau Matatini Ltd is helping to build a strong Māori workforce across the Māori health and disability sectors.  Established in 2002, Te Rau Matatini coordinates a range of national programmes that contribute to Māori health, mental health, addiction, primary health and public health workforce priorities.

These programmes aim to increase responsiveness to Māori health needs; expand the Māori workforce; extend training opportunities; enhance career pathways and advancement; promote rewarding career opportunities for Māori in health, mental health and addiction; and support Māori health leadership development.


Te Rau Matatini Ltd
Level 4, 39 The Terrace
Greenock House
Wellington Central 6011

P O Box 5731

Phone: (04) 473 9591
Fax: (04) 473 9573
Freephone: 0800 Matatini
Website: www.matatini.co.nz

Disclaimer: This page and the innovation it accompanies do not represent the views of the Ministry of Health.  The views represented are those of Te Rau Matatini Ltd and the innovation piloted.

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