Whare Tiaki marks five years of outstanding care

CMM’s shared living residence for kaumātua, Whare Tiaki, has celebrated five years of dedication to the residents in its care.

Whare Tiaki comprises eight independent suites for kaumātua, as well as communal living and dining areas. Residents share kai together, and the four kaiāwhina oversee the wellbeing of residents and the smooth running of the kāinga.

The whare is based on the Māori health model, Te Whare Tapa Whā, that is, taha tinana (physical health), taha wairua (spiritual health), taha whānau (family health) and taha hinengaro (mental health). It was set up in 2017 with the support and guidance of whānau from Ngāi Tahu, the CDHB Māori Clinical Assessor and CMM kaumātua the late Dr Terry Ryan and Roz Wilkie.

For resident Moana-o-Hinerangi, this model of care enables her to live fully and to express herself as Māori. “This is a whare in which I feel unapologetically Māori. I feel quite safe as a Māori person. I can speak te reo if I want to, I can sing if I want to, play the guitar and I can tune into the Māori TV programme and know it’s not interfering with anyone else – in fact others enjoy watching it too.

“We are all from different tribes - I’m from Ngāi Tahu and the others are from the north. We’ve all got different backgrounds in terms of the impact of colonisation. Some speak te reo and others don’t. Some know how to be on a marae, others don’t. Some have traumatic whānau backgrounds and others haven’t. Some know how to be at a tangi, others don’t. Some of us are hooked in to the Māori community and others aren’t. Regardless, I feel like here I’m in a community or whānau.”

Moana was advised to move into supported living by a health worker three years ago. At the time, her mother was living in the whare but now lives in a residence on the grounds of Wesley Village, alongside the whare.

Moana likes the fact whānau of residents come in and out of the kāinga all the time. Her own whānau know she is well cared for in the whare, which gives them reassurance. Whare residents take part in numerous communal activities, such as visits to marae and to tangi. “At the whare, we don’t have to explain what we are going to do.”

The proximity to the Papanui shops and to major bus routes ensures Moana is able to get out and about and to teach te reo Māori lessons each week at a community centre. Moana feels very much at home and encourages other kaumātua who are able to live independently to consider making the whare their home. If you know of a kaumātua who would benefit from the manaakitanga and aroha of Whare Tiaki, please contact us today.