Matariki celebrations come early for Paeroa kaumātua

Matariki celebrations come early for Paeroa kaumātua

9 June 2017

Paeroa Kaumātua rōpū will kick off Matariki early next Tuesday with a celebration at Paeroa War Memorial Hall.

There’ll be lots of waiata, fun and games for all, as well as raffles and kōrero from guest speakers Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Board Member Taima Campbell and Pacific Coast Technical Institute Programme Tutor Jude Robinson.

Matariki is the name for the star cluster known as the Pleiades. Its reappearance in late May or early June signals the beginning of the New Year.

In the past, different iwi celebrated Matariki at different times. For some it was when Matariki rose in May-June; for others, it was celebrated at the first new moon, or full moon, following the rising of Matariki. This year, the new moon following the rising of Matariki on June 24 signals the beginning of the Māori New Year.

Wherever and whenever it is celebrated, Matariki is about a time of coming together, socialising, feasting, learning and teaching. It is a time of wānanga and celebration of whānau, hapu iwi and our culture.  It is both traditional and contemporary and it is the time of change and an ending of seasons and a period of preparation for the new season.

So, whilst  Matariki appears during the season when it is wet, cold, the ground becomes infertile or an inactive growing season, it is also known as a time of renewal – hence the reason why Māori believe this to be the beginning of the New Year.

With the rising of Matariki 2017 comes some exciting plans for changes to ensure the future flow and efficiency of Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki.

A proposed central communication hub, already practised in other clinics, will triage or prioritise the needs of clients from the time they phone or make a request for an appointment to ensure that the right service is delivered by the right health professional at the right time.

Taima Campbell will take the opportunity to explain the Hub concept to kaumātua and manuhiri at Paeroa.

It is also proposed to extend the current operating hours of the acute care (walk-in) pathway at the Thames clinic for clients with acute care needs.

“With the introduction of Smart Health and the installation of video-conferencing facilities into Te Korowai clinics, it is now timely to consider how these tools enhance the way services can be delivered to Hauraki whanau,” Taima says.

With all things new, there can be a steep learning curve and nowhere is this more apparent than with modern digital phones. While the intention of mokopuna and whānau buying their mātua a new phone so they can stay in touch via Skype or get the benefits of other nifty apps is a great idea, sometimes this can be a bit overwhelming for them.

“Sometimes they might not even know how to turn a new phone on,” Kaumātua Programme Coordinator Hariata Adams says.

So, it is with arms wide open that we welcome Jude Robinson, who will offer helpful hints to enable kaumātua to use their new phones. Jude will also give more information on the free institute programme that will offer more advanced tricks of the trade on digital phones.

So, come along and enjoy the fun!

 Matariki tāpuapua

The Matariki season when water lies in pools

What: Paeroa Kaumātua Rōpū Matariki Celebrations
Where: Paeroa War Memorial Hall
When: Tuesday, June 13, 10.30am-2.30pm
Bring: Plate and a gold coin donation

To find Matariki, look low on the horizon in the northeast of the sky between 5.30 and 6.30am.

1: First find the pot (the bottom three stars of the pot are also called Tautoru, or Orion’s Belt). To find Puanga (Rigel) look above the pot until you see the bright star.

2: To the left of the pot, find the bright orange star, Taumata-kuku (Alderbaran).

3: Follow an imaginary line from Tautoru (the bottom three stars of the pot), across to Taumata-kuku and keep going until you hit a cluster of stars -  Matariki.

Directional information taken from

Caption: The picture above from AstronomyNZ, shows the relative position of Matariki (Pleiades) to Taumata-kuku (Alderbaran), Tautoru (Orion’s belt), Puanga (Rigel) and Takurua (Sirius).


Current News

Taking 10 minutes out of a woman's day could save her life

21 July 2018

Taking 10 minutes out of a woman's day could save her life. That woman could be your mother, wife, daughter, niece, auntie, nana – or it could be you.

Ten minutes is the time it takes to have a cervical screening (smear) test to detect abnormal cells in a woman’s cervix that could lead to cervical cancer. 

Every year 160 New Zealand women develop cervical cancer, with 50 dying from it. And yet it is one of the most preventable forms of cancer – as long as the cell changes that cause it are detected early.

Cervical cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (womb).  It usually develops very slowly, with the first signs showing up as ‘abnormal’ cells, which can then take more than 10 years to develop into cancer.

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki  Poukura Hauora - Clinical Services Manager - Taima Campbell says women and their whānau should make cervical screening a priority.

“Abnormal cell changes might not show any symptoms until they become cancerous, which is why early detection through screening and follow-up treatment is important,” she says.

“We can’t stress enough how important it is that our wāhine keep up to date with their smear tests because we know that they can save their life.”

Treatment can be as simple as removing the affected tissue.

Many wāhine are embarrassed or whakāma about having a cervical smear test and Taima says the clinic’s female nurses will do everything they can to make sure a woman feels comfortable during the short procedure. 

Without screening, about 1 in 90 women will develop cervical cancer, with 1 out of 200 dying from it, whereas with screening, 1 out of 570 women will develop cervical cancer, with 1 out of 1280 dying from it.

Three-yearly cervical smear tests are recommended for all women aged 20 to 70 who have ever been sexually active. 

Make an appointment to see one of our nurses by FREEPHONE phoning 0508 835 676. Te Korowai GP and Nurse clinics are in Thames, Paeroa, Te Aroha and Coromandel


Community input wanted for health care

12 July 2018

A Care in the Community wānanga will be held in Thames on July 26.

The aim of the wānanga is to look at what health services communities want locally and how they should be delivered.

The wānanga is an opportunity for consumers to be involved in the design of services.

Basketball fun for school holidays

6 July 2018

Keen basketballers from years 7 to 10 will have the opportunity to fine-tune their skills with a two-day school holiday programme in Thames.

The programme on July 16 and 17 is run by Laurence Were, who has been involved with the Breakers Champion Basketball Programme as well as school basketball programmes throughout Hauraki rohe.

Basketball is a great workout that builds endurance, develops balance, coordination, concentration and self-discipline as well as muscle. It is a great way to stay fit, learn about team playing – and it’s fun!! 

Jack Mc Lean Community Recreation Centre 

Thames High School

Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th April 

10am – 3pm

(Bring your own snacks and lunch and something to drink) 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Debbie Petersen-Pilcher 0274321100 or 07 868 0033 or email:

Pare celebrates brighter life as a non-smoker

1 June 2018

Life is looking a lot brighter for Pare Ehrhorn since she gave up smoking nearly two months ago. 

She is saving almost $200 a week, no longer coughs in the morning, her singing voice has returned - along with a renewed confidence to sing - her brain is clearer, she has more energy and she now lives in a smokefree environment.

Pare, 50, says she decided to give up smoking after she had a “gutsful” of seeing the ongoing smoking culture within her own family.  

“My grown up children and husband smoke and my 19-year-old who lives at home and his friend who lives here also smoke.

 “I have grandchildren now and I just wanted to change the culture of our whole home.”

She says she wouldn’t have been able to quit without the backing of her whānau who have shown their support by not smoking within the family property.

“If they want a smoke, they leave the property to have one.”

She says this makes her feel well supported, respected and that they value her health.

And the bonus of having a smokefree home is that her whānau have also reduced their cigarette intake.

Pare decided to quit smoking after being introduced to the six-week Stop Smoking programme offered by Hauraki health provider Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki.

The service offers free nicotine replacement therapy, one-to-one or group support as well as a monetary incentive.

 “I’m just grateful they have that service for the public,” Pare says. “And you can also check your carbon monoxide levels on a weekly basis to monitor yourself - you’re in charge, and can see your progress.” 

Pare knows there will likely be challenges ahead – she has been there before, having previously given up smoking for 15 years until three years ago when a personal trauma saw her reach for the cigarettes again. 

But she is all about moving forward, not backwards, and, while she says that stressful situations can always be a challenge, she hopes she now has the tools to see her through.

She is excited about her future, and the fact there are more positives on the horizon than negatives.

“I can see a future and it also makes me feel warm and fuzzy that we can offer to help our kids out if they need it financially.”

She encourages those who want to give up smoking to just try and give it a go.

“It can be about the timing, so if it doesn’t work this time, just keep trying, don’t give up. 

“And surround yourself with the right people that can support you.” 

 Do you want to stop smoking?  You can STOP Once and for All with our FREE six-week programme includes support and nicotine replacement therapy to help you Stop Smoking in a gradual way. 

If you are Smokefree four weeks after your Quit Date, you will receive a $50 voucher. If you are pregnant and still Smokefree after your Quit Date, you will receive up to $300 in vouchers.

Contact: Melena or Jodi - 07 868 0033;

World Smokefree Day was yesterday, May 31.

Caption: PARE EHRHORN, 50, right, from Thames, celebrates two months as a non-smoker with her Stop Smoking support person, Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Poukura Oranga/Service Manager – Public and Community Health Services. Debbie Petersen-Pilcher.

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