Women helping women for whānau

A message from our supporter Theresa Gattung about the importance of our whānau rooms project

When Auckland City Hospital spoke to me about the state of the Ward 96/98 whānau rooms, I knew we needed to act.

I say it time and time again, women need to back women. That’s one of the ways we’ll achieve equality in Aotearoa. And that’s not just in business; it’s in all parts of our society.

When Auckland City Hospital spoke to me about the state of the Ward 96/98 whānau rooms, I knew we needed to act.

Auckland City Hospital was the first hospital to establish dedicated te ao Māori whānau spaces in 2003. They are especially important to Māori concepts of health and wellbeing. When a loved one is unwell, it is important for whānau to be near them and each other.

The whānau rooms have been well used, very well used in fact, by whānau and patients of all cultures and ethnicities. But over time the rooms had become rundown. They had lost their kaupapa and started to be used for other purposes.

Today, the Auckland Health Foundation is hard at work bringing the whānau spaces back to a condition that honours their heritage. Out of 45 rooms, 6 have been rejuvenated. Fundraising amid a global pandemic has been a challenge and we have rooms in dire need of rejuvenation still on the waitlist.

Health inequity for Māori has always been a complex issue that needs to be addressed at so many different levels of our health system and society.

The whānau rooms project was initiated in 2018 by Chief Nursing Officer Margaret Dotchin and advised by Chief Advisor Tikanga Dame Naida Glavish. It is the work of great women such as them that keeps pushing Aotearoa up the list of the world’s most equal countries. But we should aim for the top!

Theresa makes a profound difference in the lives of women and girls around the world. She has a wealth of experience as a CEO, Chair of boards, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor, and she strongly believes in giving back. We are so grateful to Theresa for the difference she has made for women and their whānau at Auckland City Hospital.

Above photo (L-R): Auckland Health Foundation Director Candy Schroder, Co-Charge Midwife Rebecca Clark, supporter Theresa Gattung and Director of Midwifery Deborah Pittam

To make a donation that will help families support their loved ones, click here.

For more information about our hospital whānau rooms project, and how you can get involved, please click here.