Hurunui Hauora Advisory Group
May I introduce the co-chairs for the newly formed Hurunui Hauora (Health) Advisory Group Mick Nelson-Willis from Hanmer Springs and Gregor MacKenzie from Culverden.
Both Mick and Gregor lead a volunteer group with members who have a strong connection to health through lived experience or the desire to ensure the district health outcomes continue to have a voice.
With July 1 2022, nearing and the implementation of the HealthNZ, it is critical that the Hurunui continues to have an advocacy focus and this group will become that vehicle.
The purpose of the group is to monitor hauora/health service delivery, to receive and consider service suggestions from the community and to provide leadership in future opportunities. One of the critical elements of the group is that members are well connected to their communities and can provide the “bridge” for opportunity. The co-chairs are members of the Rural Health workstream which is has an alliance across health systems for Canterbury.
Health New Zealand, April 2022 Localities update for the health sector states elevating consumer and whanau voice. “The locality approach is focused on planning care and services for community health and wellbeing at a local level. This gives consumers and whanau an opportunity to have a strong voice in the services that they think are important for their communities.” “Planning at a local level will also enable service providers to share their local insights and expertise about what can be improved or developed to improve health outcomes and the whanau experience.”
“Rural communities face specific health challenges that are not always shared by more urban communities” “ many of the changes to the health system will have a positive impact of health outcomes of rural communities”. The role of the Hurunui Hauora Advisory group will be to activate and monitor this voice.
As I write this column we are all in the midst of enjoying the traditional Queens Birthday weekend, as you will be aware Queen Elizabeth 11 is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee 70 years as our Queen. This is a unique event, which is being celebrated throughout the Commonwealth and particularly for those in countries, such as New Zealand, who have the Queen as Head of State.