Te Kaika health centre opens

The Caversham community welcomes its new community health centre, Te Kaika, with a large opening ceremony on its College St premises yesterday. Photo: Christine O'Connor
The Caversham community welcomes its new community health centre, Te Kaika, with a large opening ceremony on its College St premises yesterday. Photo: Christine O'Connor
It takes a village to open a village.

Te Kaika - ''the Village'' - a new health hub in South Dunedin for Maori, Pacific Islanders and low-income families, was officially opened in Caversham yesterday, and hundreds were present to see the new venture launched.

''When I looked at the crowd, I was reminded how it took a large community to collaborate for this to happen,'' Te Runanga o Otakou chairwoman Donna Matahaere-Atariki, one of the founders of Te Kaika, said.

''Some amazing people have contributed to our vision. They have been stalwart, and everyone there had contributed in some way ... the people who were there were the people who brought it together.''

A partnership between Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu (the South Island Whanau Ora commissioning agency), Ngai Tahu, the University of Otago, health and social service provider Arai Te Uru Whare Hauora and the Pacific community, Te Kaika will offer affordable, high-quality health and social services to South Dunedin.

Based at the former College St School, Te Kaika offers GP and dental services, gym facilities and social service providers in the same complex.

It will also be the future home of the Dunedin offices of Ngai Tahu.

Teaching is an important component of Te Kaika, with the University of Otago training students from across the Health Sciences schools, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and physiotherapy, on site.

''The University of Otago is very proud, and humbled, to be a partner in this initiative led by Ngai Tahu,'' Medical School dean Peter Crampton said.

''Te Kaika is important because we aim to provide a range of high quality health and social services to support whanau, Pacific families and low-income families in Dunedin in order for them to be in control of, and in charge of, their lives.''

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

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