Seventeen Gisborne GPs now have a better understanding how the Treaty of Waitangi affects their work after spending a unique evening with Māori health provider Turanga Health.
The Tuesday evening training which began with a shared meal and ended with a bus tour, covered critical issues relevant to the Treaty of Waitangi, it’s historical, and contemporary, context. The focus was on analysis and interpretation of the way in which the Treaty can be applied to contemporary health situations.
GPs who attended all work at medical centres that are part of Midlands Health Network (MHN). MHN provides doctors, nurses, and other health staff in this district with tools they need to get the best health outcomes for patients. Turanga Health is part of MHN.
For one Gisborne GP, Simon Spenceley from Three Rivers Medical, the experience was distinctive. He described it as “an informative and enjoyable meeting illustrating the history and diverse interpretations of the Treaty.”
It was the first time Turanga Health has offered the training on behalf of MHN, and Turanga Health CEO Reweti Ropiha says it’s something they’ve wanted to do for a long time.
“It was important to us as a partner in MHN that the local perspective of the Treaty be front and centre. The Treaty provides a framework for Māori and non-Māori to exercise control over their health and wellbeing. The key parts we wanted to address last night were understanding the Treaty, and addressing inequities in health care.”
Mr Ropiha says it was refreshing to be applying the three Ps of the Treaty: partnership, participation and protection, in real time.
“Equally important was sharing some of the history of this region with the GPs. And that’s why we took them on a bus tour,” adds Mr Ropiha.
GPs took a short bus tour up over Kaiti Hill. The trip was narrated by Ripeka Winitana who has an avid interest in local Maori history and tikanga.
Dr Spenceley said the entire evening “was made all the more interesting by the interactive bus trip”.
Turanga Health looks forward to sharing more local Maori history with the GPs later in the year when it showcases a new-look activity programme combining exercise with heritage trails and information for participants.
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