• Georgina te Heuheu
Associate Minister of Health

With the handover of Te Puia Hospital on the East Coast to Ngati Porou Hauora - Maori are strengthening their leadership in shaping health services for their own people.

"This initiative is good for the whole community," Associate Minister for Health Georgina te Heuheu said today.

Cabinet agreed yesterday to the $2.2million transfer of assets to Ngati Porou Hauora and upgrading of the old hospital.

"Te Puia Hospital has always been an important symbol for the Maori community for good local health services. It is right that local people take the lead in the further development of this hospital," Mrs te Heuheu today.

"For many years the hospital has shaped and delivered services in a Maori way. It is great that Ngati Porou Hauora will continue the strong relationship between the hospital and the local community to ensure essential health services are available on the East Coast for everyone."

"This transfer demonstrates the National government's confidence in the notion of Maori communities developing solutions for their own needs. Over the last nine years of a National government Maori have shown that they can provide appropriate health services for their own people. This will be a benefit for the whole community," Mrs te Heuheu said.

"It is particularly heartening for me as a Maori minister to see this process take place in a community that has a history of independent action and self determination."

This decision will help ensure Ngati Porou Hauora continues to work with all locals to improve their health status," Mrs te Heuheu concluded.

The official transfer will take place on November 17 when Mrs te Heuheu will be present with the Minister of Health at a signing ceremony in Te Puia Springs.