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Jean Katarina Te Huia

Ngāti Te Whatuiapiti Ko Ngāti Rangitane taku iwi

Jean Te Huia (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a well-known advocate for Māori health, particularly maternal and child health. While her midwifery and health services are located in Hawke’s Bay, her participation on national advisory committees has enabled her expertise to influence national policies. Her ongoing concern with the discriminatory practices experienced by Māori women seeking maternity care has been a prime motivator of her involvement in the Mana Wāhine kaupapa inquiry currently lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal.

Jean is a registered Māori Nurse and a Māori midwife for over 30 years, and her accomplishments in health include being the first Māori woman to graduate with a master’s in nursing from Eastern Institute of Technology, being the first Lead Maternity Carer Māori Midwife in Kahungunu. To provide health services within local communities, Jean founded Choices Health and Community Services, that includes, nurse and midwifery clinics and an ECE in Flaxmere. Jean also helped found a marae at Waimarama, Hinetemoa Marae and initiated a reintegration programme that supports prison inmates to prepare for employment, and then find work when they are released.

In acknowledgement of her many contributions to her community, Jean was nominated for a Pride of New Zealand Award in 2015.

Te Ahi Kaa - The fight for racial justice in healthcare

Māori experience worse health outcomes than the wider population in Aotearoa - shorter life expectancy, higher mortality and morbidity rates for a range of diseases. To ensure a health system that responds to the aspirations and needs of Māori we are charged with driving transformational change in the healthcare system. The way we have been working for the last few decades has not significantly improved Māori health outcomes. It is clear we need to do things differently. We need to embed tino rangatiratanga and we need to address racism –and colonisation including social, economic, cultural and historical impacts. This session will be informed by front-line insight of the fight for racial justice in health care – from community experience and collective action, to the academy, health policy and system reforms. The panel will describe the challenges and challenge the descriptions.

Jean Katarina Te Huia
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