National Kaitiaki Group members

Dr Helen Wihongi (Convenor)

Dr Helen Wihongi (Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi, Te Whānau a Āpanui, Ngāti Hine) BASocSci, Hons, PhD, PGDipPsych(Com) is the Director of Māori Health Research across the Waitematā and Auckland DHBs.

Helen has worked in the health sector most of her working life, with time out to have and raise two sons. She was involved in the establishment of Māori health providers in the 70’s including being part of the early debates around the establishment of the Māori women’s cervical screening rōpu. Helen has a particular interest in Māori health and influencing changes to the health system that improve health outcomes for Māori. Her doctoral thesis critiqued the cervical screening policy for its responsiveness to Māori and she was involved in the reviewing the National Cervical Screening Programme on two occasions.   

Helen chairs the Māori Governance Rōpu for Ira Tātai Whakaheke, a tertiary genomics pathway rōpu, and is a committee member of the Auckland Regional Bio-bank governance and scientific boards. These roles include debates around the use of Māori tissue and data. She has a strong background in funding and planning and sits on ethics and funding committees.

Ebony Duff

Ebony Duff is a consultant with over 18 years of experience traversing law, policy, governance, and media with a particular focus on rights and interests acquired under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Ebony is also currently a trustee on Te Roopu Taurima Trust, the largest national kaupapa Māori Disability Support Service, supporting people of all ethnicities with intellectual impairments.

She holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts from the University of Auckland, is an enrolled barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, and a member of the Institute of Directors. Ebony is of Te Aupouri, Ngaati Te Ata and Ngāti Rangitihi descent.

Sandra Corbett

Sandra Corbett is a long-standing active member of the Te Rōpū Wāhine Māori Toko I te Ora – Māori Women Welfare League, Waipatu Karamu branch of the Ikaroa Region. She is a nurse who has worked for the Hawke’s Bay DHB (HBDHB) National Cervical Screening Programme since 1999, and is currently the Kaiwhakahaere for Population Screening at HBDHB. She serves on a number of national health advisory groups – is a member of the National Cervical Screening Advisory Group, chair of the New Zealand Nursing Organisation’s Membership Committee and co–chair of NZNO Te Matau a Māui Regional Council. Sandra is part of the National Kaimahi Roopu, which provides opportunities for regular communications and offers a consultative forum and mandate to develop and progress priorities for Māori. This contributes to the whāriki enabling her representation on the Ministry of Health advisory groups she is involved in. Sandra’s iwi affiliation is Te Arawa / Ngati Pikiao.

Tangihaere Macfarlane

Tangihaere Macfarlane is a member of the Northern B Health & Disability Ethics Committee. She has 16 years’ experience in the health sector, both in management and governance, and holds a Bachelor of Health Science and a diploma in Business. Tangihaere is also a qualified health sector auditor. Her Te Arawa waka iwi connections are to Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Ngāti Pikiao.

Tasha Wharerau

Tasha Wharerau (Bentley) has worked in wāhine Māori health positions over the past 11 years, providing advocacy and support to whānau in breast and cervical screening and promoting breastfeeding. She is currently the Whānau Ora practice coordinator at Ngāti Hine Health Trust in the far north, and the Wāhine Ora Health Promoter at Women’s Health Action in Auckland. She is a member of Te Roopu Whakaruruhau with the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance and is an active member of Te Wānanga o Hine Koopu in Te Tai Tokerau. Tasha is a survivor of breast cancer and has a passion for matauranga Māori as our guide to better health outcomes for whānau Māori. She affiliates to Te Mahurehure, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Porou.

Dr Teah Carlson

He uri mokopuna tenei no Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou me Waikato-Tainui hoki. Mai i te toka-a-taiau ki te-taumata-ō-Apanui. Dr Teah Carlson is a kairangahau/kaupapa Māori researcher and evaluator at SHORE and Whāriki Research Centre, Massey University. She has a PhD in Public Health, "Transforming health literacy" from Massey University, Master of Applied Psychology (First class honours), Post Graduate Diploma in Community Psychology (1st year registration programme) and a BSocSci (First class honours) Psychology and Human Development from Waikato University. She is the currently co-chair of Ngā Pou Mana – Tangata Whenua Allied Health Aotearoa, board member of Ngā Maungarongo Incorporated Society, secretary at Te Kohanga Reo o Te Rongomau and past board member of Institute of Community Psychology.

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