Hauora ā Iwi Relationship Board

Hauora ā Iwi is the intertribal forum established by a confederation of six iwi as high-level strategic partners with Whanganui DHB.

The primary function of Hauora ā Iwi is to contribute to the advancement of Māori health outcomes and ensure access and delivery of health services to Māori in the WDHB area.


Hauora ā Iwi is made up of iwi (tribal entities who have influence within, or partly within, the WDHB region) and their organisations which represent tangata whenua. On behalf of the iwi collectives in which they represent, Hauora ā Iwi provides advice on the needs and aspirations for the health and wellbeing of the region's Māori population.


Hauora ā Iwi aims to assist the WDHB in its efforts to reduce health disparities by improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of Māori.

Iwi recognised by WDHB and represented on Hauroa ā Iwi are:

  • Whanganui
  • Ngā Rauru Kitahi
  • Ngāti Apa
  • Mokai Patea
  • Ngāti Hauiti
  • Ngāti Rangi.

The work of Hauora ā Iwi has focused on providing advice and strengthening the iwi governance partnership with the WDHB. They have continued to instil a Whanau Ora philosophy into the purchasing strategy for Kaupapa Māori Services. This has been reflected in the shift towards integrated contracts across all the Kaupapa Māori Services and a shared model of working across these providers.


Quarterly board-to-board meetings between Hauora ā Iwi and WDHB have contributed to the influence of Hauora ā Iwi.

The current membership of Hauora ā Iwi includes the following Iwi representatives:


Mary Bennett (Chair)

Ngā Rauru Kītahi

Wheturangi Walsh- Tapiata Ngā Rauru Kītahi
Maraea Bellamy Mōkai Patea
Barbara Ball Mōkai Patea
James Allen Ngā Wairiki / Ngāti Apa
Dr Cherryl Smith Ngā Wairiki / Ngāti Apa
Sharlene Tapa-Mosen Tupoho/Whanganui
Te Aroha McDonnell Tamaupoko Whanganui
Hayley Robinson 

Ngāti Rangi

Dr Heather Gifford

Ngāti Hauiti


Ngāti Uenuku











Hauora A Iwi + WDHB Manatu Whakaaetanga Memorandum of Understanding


Relationships with Māori


The Whanganui DHB recognises and respects the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi in accordance with the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 and is committed to the advancement of Māori health priorities.

The board recognises that partnership and participation are essential to enabling iwi to participate and contribute to strategies for Māori health improvement, and to foster the development of Māori capacity to participate in the health and disability sector.

We are committed to:

  • improving partnerships with iwi
  • building iwi and Māori capacity to respond to health needs
  • involving iwi and Māori in planning and decision-making
  • improving Māori health
  • reducing health and disability inequalities.

The board has a Memorandum of Understanding with Hauora ā Iwi in recognition of this commitment.

Hauora ā Iwi is the inter-tribal forum, established by a confederation of six iwi, to be the high-level strategic partner with the WDHB.

The inter-tribal forum is a direct response by the iwi communities to:

  • ensure partnership responsibilities under Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi are meaningfully discharged
  • a wish to maintain separation between strategic and governance decisions and health provision.

The WDHB views participation of iwi and Māori across all levels of the organisation and the health sector as a key objective. In addition to partnership with Hauora a Iwi at a governance level, participation with Māori health providers occurs at an operational level. Our board and management are supported by kaumatua and kuia to ensure Māori protocols and duties are discharged appropriately.