Rural health professionals welcome Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network

Members of the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network (the Network) held up green cards in show of support for the proposal to form a collective organisation Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network on Saturday 1 May 2021.

During the Network’s AGM at the National Rural Health Conference in Taupō, the Network Board put forward the proposal to form Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network and to transition the Network’s functions and role to this new organisation over a 12-month period.

More members turned up for this AGM than ever before to show their support and have their say on the future of the Network, and the resolutions to form the collective organisation Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network were passed.

Network Chief Executive Dr Grant Davidson says that this is a significant step in the evolution of the Network.

“This proposal builds on the strong legacy created by the previous members and officers of the Network and presents a strategy that enables this work to continue with an even stronger structure and membership into the future.”

“It also provides a pathway that recognises our Treaty obligations and will allow the new organisation to embrace a partnership approach in governance and decision-making.”

The vision for Hauora Taiwhenua Rural Health Network is to bring the Network together initially inviting four other rural health networks to join in this initiative: Rural Hospital Network, Rural Nurses New Zealand, Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa NZ, and Students of Rural Health Aotearoa), along with the Network’s Treaty partners, Te Rōpū Ārahi, to advocate on behalf of rural health with one united voice.

This proposed structure will allow various rural health groups to have their own voice on their specific issues, contribute to strong collective messages, and work together to plan and deliver the health services that meet the needs of rural communities.

Having received support from members, the Network Board can now move ahead with the proposal.

They will meet with members and stakeholders to confirm details of the new organisation before beginning the transition.

The Network Board will report back to the membership at the 2022 AGM on progress made towards the transition. If positive progress is made, the membership will be asked to support a move to permanently transition to the new organisation Hauora Taiwhenua.

The concept of creating a united rural health network was first announced at the Network’s virtual AGM in November 2020 and the Network consulted with members at the beginning of 2021 during a series of roadshows around the country.