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Help for Maori to access health services

Credit: StuffNZ

Accessing health and wellbeing services in the Nelson region has just become easier for Te Piki Oranga clients, after a helping hand from global seafood company Sealord.

Nelson-based Sealord is Te Tauihu Māori health and wellness provider Te Piki Oranga’s first corporate sponsor.

Sealord is contributing $4000 annually for the next three years to cover the transport costs of whānau Te Piki Oranga works with in the Nelson and Marlborough regions to get to appointments, and also to help get the service’s workers to whānau in their homes.

The funding will pay for things like petrol vouchers, bus passes and taxi chits for whānau.

Often whānau couldn’t get to the services they need, Hobby said.

“A lack of transport options can be a legitimate barrier to people having better health,” she said. “Many whānau don’t have access to a car, or money for petrol, taxis or bus fares. If their mobility is impaired it is even harder for them.

“It can really set some people back in their health improvement plan if they miss an appointment.”

Te Piki Oranga was not otherwise funded to cover transport costs and they were thrilled Sealord saw the value in their work and wanted to support the community to improve their health, Hobby said.

“We can’t take a lot of the sponsorship we might get offered because it doesn’t fit with health, but fish does,” she said.

Sealord chief executive Doug Paulin said the sponsorship was a natural fit for Sealord. Sealord was half owned by Māori and 15 per cent of its employees were Māori. More than 30 per cent of workers on its sea-going vessels were Māori, and while they were at sea - often for six week stretches - their whānau at home might need support.

“It is important to us to support our people’s whānau and their communities. Covering transport costs of whānau enrolled with Te Piki Oranga is a tangible way for us to support the health of many across Te Tauihu.”

Te Piki Oranga nurse and vaccinator Amber Ford said the Sealord funding was great because it would reduce the barrier to whānau accessing health services, and also benefit Te Piki Oranga staff.

“Now that we can fund transport it takes away unnecessary mahi for us so we can concentrate on other health services. It makes it so much more streamlined.”

Help for Māori to access health services |

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