May 2023

Wano whanua approach

Hayden Wano’s distinguished career at Tui Ora came full circle as hundreds of guests gathered at Owae Marae to thank him for his service as Pou Tu Kurae/Chief Executive and to wish him well for the future on his retirement from the organisation.

Given it was almost 25 years ago to the day that Hayden had his powhiri at Owae welcoming him to Tui Ora it seemed entirely fitting that he returned to the same marae to celebrate his quarter century at the helm of an organisation that has grown and flourished under his leadership.

From humble beginnings and a staff of four Tui Ora today employs nearly 200 kaimahi offering 35 whānau centred services across Taranaki. Hayden’s time at Tui Ora spanned huge changes in the health sector including the establishment of the Te Kawau Mārō alliance that joined, Ngāruahine Iwi Health Services, Ngāti Ruanui Healthcare, Tui Ora and the Taranaki District Health Board (now Te Whatu Ora) to deliver hauora services to Taranaki Māori, the global Covid-19 pandemic and in 2022 the establishment of Te Aka Whai Ora - the Māori Health Authority.

Alana Ruakere, who was appointed Chief Executive in November 2022 has been working alongside Hayden for the last few months as she transitioned into the role said:

“Building a successful kaupapa Māori organisation like Tui Ora is great testament to Hayden’s long term vision and commitment, (however) I would also like to acknowledge his strong thought leadership and drive for better policies that enable Māori organisations to support holistic hauora for whānau. Our foundations are strong because of Hayden’s efforts and I am both sad and proud to be here today to honour his legacy.”

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Chair Wayne Mulligan said: “In acknowledging Hayden, we also honour our kaumatua and kuia while no longer with us had the vision and fortitude to start Tui Ora some 25 years ago.  In doing so they enticed, likely instructed Hayden to leave the comfort of his job and take on the challenge to lead and build Tui Ora.

In response Hayden thanked the many people who had helped him throughout his Tui Ora journey: “In particular I want to acknowledge Tui Ora for the way we stood up during Covid, working with our colleagues in the South, Te Aranga and Te Whatu Ora we made a big difference, and we often did our best work when we didn’t even have a plan – but we did have a drive and that was to do the best we possibly could for our whānau and we always did that.”

Hayden is currently continuing his work as Chair of Te Hiringa Mahara – The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission and various governance roles including with TAFT (Taranaki Arts Festival Trust), the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and Wises Trust. He is also spending more time in the surf and enjoying time at the whānau bach in Ōpunake.

Last year Hayden was awarded the Queen’s Service Order in the New Year’s Honours List 2023, for service to Māori health and in 2017 he was the recipient of the 2017 Taranaki Mayoralty Award.



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