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Kaumātua the focus at Taihape's What Matters To You Day

Did you know that 15% of the total population of Taihape is in the 65+ age group? The only other larger group is the under 5's population. Healthy Families Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Ruapehu got behind Taihape Older and Bolder to let kaumātua know what services are available in the region as well as to find out what matters to them.

Taihape Older and Bolder Co-ordinator Michelle Fannin says, "We wanted this based around our seniors but it's for the whole community because when we hit those senior years we all need to understand what happens when we get older and what type of documents we should have in place."

Tamati Potaka is a Ngāti Hauiti, Whitikaupeka descendent from Mōkai Pātea, he says that what matters to him is health equity, "Māori, we should get the gold card at sixty, our women be on it at 50, that sort of thing, it's inequity. That's what I like about this (What Matters To You Day), there's a lawyer in there too."

Potaka adds that the region is cold and therefore heating and healthcare for the elderly are important issues to him, "Climatically, it's quite cold here compared to the rest of the tāngata from around the rohe in Te Ika ā Māui."

More than twenty services were represented a the What Matters To You Day in Taihape, Fannin says, "We've got lots of different organisations who bring a lot of information and it's just reminding our community what services are actually available to them."

Healthy Families Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Ruapehu backboned the event, Fannin adds, "It's amazing what momentum has been created by Healthy Families (Whanganui, Rangitīkei, Ruapehu) on everything that they've touched, Mere (Meretini Bennett-Huxtable, Systems Activator, Healthy Families Rangitīkei) is the perfect person for our region with her research, her knowledge of everything that's going on in the community, definitely couldn't have done it without her."


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