April O'Brien is the new Whānau Ora Community Health Worker for Murupara and surrounding areas working for Te Ika Whenua Hauora Incorporated Society.
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Rangitaiki rāua ko Whirinaki ngā Awa
Ko Rangipo te Wehenga o te Tuna
Ko Tāwhiuau te Maunga
Ko Painoaiho rāua ko Tipapa ngā marae
Ko Ngāti Koro me Ngāi Tokowaru ngā marae
Ko Ngāti Manawa te Iwi
Ko Tangiharuru te Tangata
Ko April O’Brien tōku ingoa.
The overall aim of the whānau ora service is to support whānau health and help reduce the health inequities present across population groups. Within my role, there is a focus on supporting safe sleep practices, breastfeeding and auahi kore (becoming smoke free). I am hoping to achieve these outcomes through running informative workshops and promoting such kaupapa where ever possible.
Whānau inherently motivate the work that I do. Within my experiences I have witnessed much sorrow and complex circumstances which motivate me to finding answers and solutions for the whānau I work with and support.
One thing which I see as important for my community is mahia te mahi (do the work). It is important that there is follow through, strong engagement, whanaungatanga and commitment to whānau to ensure that the service is effectively delivered to whānau. Our community is unique and remote, and therefore needs the right services who understand how to work with, and engage with our whānau in a way which supports the mana of our people and our overall wellbeing.
My favourite whakataukī is nāku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi, which simply means with your basket and my basket the people will live. This reminds us that co-operation and the accumulation of shared resources allows the collective to prosper.