Wed, Feb 21, 2024 4:00 PM

New service with heart for rural whānau


Paula Hulburt

A new wellbeing hub is bringing hands on help to people in more remote Marlborough communities.

In a joint initiative with Waikawa Marae, primary health provider Te Piki Oranga have launched Heartland Services across the Top of the South.

People will be able to get help with a wide range of issues – from email, printing, photocopying, scanning, phones and internet as well as accessing government and community service forms.

A series of drop-in sessions and health clinics will also be held throughout the year.

Pūkenga Kaiwhakahaere (Site Manager) for the Te Piki Oranga services in Wairau Ricky Carr says the move will help make life easier for those living in more remote rural communities.

“We can offer a physical location – a place to get things done in-person – as well as support on the phone or by video-conference.

Pūkenga Kaiwhakahaere (Site Manager) for the Te Piki Oranga services in Wairau Ricky Carr. Photo: Supplied

“Living, working and raising a family in rural and remote Marlborough can be challenging enough as it is. With Heartland Services we can provide access, information, support and specialist health and wellbeing services that will make life a little easier.”

The Picton-based hub opened to the public on Valentine’s Day, giving people the chance to find out more about the help on offer.

Government and community agencies are already keen to run regular drop-in sessions, Ricky says.

“We have the support and partnership of Waikawa Marae, and although it is early days we already have many Government and community agencies ready to run regular drop-in sessions and workshops in-person…”

Heartlands currently has 40 service centres across New Zealand.

Kaiwhakahaere (Manager) of Waikawa Marae Allanah Burgesssays the decision to locate Heartland Services in Waitohi Picton township was made after first considering Waikawa Marae.

By being in town, Waikawa Marae kaimahi are able to extend manaakitanga into a central location, she says.

“A lot happens on a marae, more than may be appreciated, such as our provision of health and social services like Whānau Ora that enable whānau and wider community members to thrive.

Allanah Burgess from Waikawa Marae welcomes the initiative wghich extends the service to a central location.

“When discussing how to make these essential new services available to whānau and others who need awhi, we decided in favour of the High Street hub from iwi-owned premises.

“This way we can uphold the tikanga of whakaruruhau to provide a safe, comfortable place as we do on the marae, and that happens to be in a convenient, central location for people.”

Drop-in sessions and health clinics

Government and community service staff are available on specific days, including:

· Inland revenue (IRD)

· Workbridge, for jobseekers and employers

· Suicide prevention services

· Diabetes support group

· Cancer information group

· Community Law (kaupapa Māori)

· Justice of the Peace

· Māori Land Court

· Whānau Ora navigators (from Waikawa Marae)

· Employment support (for both employers and employees)

Appointments are needed for some sessions – see the website for detail:

Marlborough App Logo
Marlborough App
Marlborough App is owned by Top South Media. a locally owned media company.