Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand has announced the establishment of the National Pacific Health Senate.


The purpose of the National Pacific Health Senate is to provide objective, strategic advice to Te Whatu Ora and support it to deliver more equitable health outcomes for Pacific peoples.


The Senate will also provide guidance on operating model changes in Te Whatu Ora, and Pacific leadership advice into the system with a strong focus on the initiatives outlined in Ola Manuia | Interim Pacific Health Plan.


Chief Executive Fepulea’i Margie Apa is delighted at this step forward in Pacific health.


“The Senate will play an important role for Pacific people, as Te Whatu Ora builds a new health system with a focus on achieving equity. The group will provide clinical advice, public health advice and technical advice that is for Pacific, by Pacific,” she said.


The establishment of this group helps streamline the Pacific-specific advice the health system received in the past, said Markerita Poutasi, National Director Pacific Health.


“The health and disability reform is an important opportunity to ensure equity in our health system and The Senate will provide the sector with timely, high-quality advice on Pacific health priorities.


“I would like to congratulate and thank Chairperson Sir Collin Tukuitonga, along with all the clinicians that have been appointed to the Pacific Health Senate. We are fortunate to have the depth of expertise and experience they bring from across their specialties.


“We’re looking forward to the impact the Senate will have on improving Pacific health outcomes in Aotearoa.”


Twelve members have been appointed into the National Pacific Health Senate:

  • Sir Collin Tukuitonga KNZM (Chair)
  • Helen Schmidt-Sopoaga
  • Dr Hinamaha Lutui
  • Tunumafono Fa'amoetauloa Avaula Fa'amoe MNZM
  • Dr Kara Okesene-Gafa
  • Mr Kiki Maoate
  • Makoni Havea
  • Ngatepaeru Marsters
  • Dr Teuila Percival QSO
  • Dr Tule Misa
  • Fakaola Otuafi
  • Tania Mullane




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