19 Sep 2014

Health association adopts biculturalism

7:45 am on 19 September 2014

An organisation helping empower people to achieve heath and well-being through work, culture and leisure has developed a more bicultural approach to include tangata whenua.

Occupational Therapy New Zealand (OTNZ) has adopted a Maori name and a Maori president of the association.

Karen Molineux.

Karen Molineux. Photo: Otago Polytechnic

Karen Molineux, of Tainui descent, has been appointed as the president of Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa.

The chair of the Occupational Therapy Board of New Zealand, Jane Hopkirk of Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, says OTNZ - a branch of the board - is determined to foster some Maori values.

Ms Hopkirk said it wants the organisation to become more culturally sensitive to the needs of tangata whenua and made a deliberate choice to include a Maori name to the organisation to acknowledge the bicultural partnership.

The organisation also decided to appoint kaumatua - not just for the ceremonial roles - but to help guide the organisation and the development of a governance model has also come out of that initiative, she said.

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