Palmerston North Hospital’s children, maternity and women’s clinics have been gifted te reo Māori names, with the new signs unveiled in a Matariki celebration.
Visitors will now be guided by the names gifted to the hospital areas by the Pae Ora Paiaka Whaiora Hauora Māori directorate.
The new signs, revealed in a blessing led by Pae Ora on Wednesday 22 July, sit alongside the English versions and with new directional lines from the main hospital entrance.
Te Aotūroa is the Maternity Ward, Hine te iwaiwa is the Birthing Suite, Te Whare Poipoi is the Neonatal Unit, Mana O te Wāhine is the Women’s Assessment and Surgical Unit, Te Whare Tangata is the Women’s Health Clinic and He taonga te tamaiti is the Children’s Ward.
Pae Ora Paiaka Whaiora Māori Operations Executive Wayne Blissett said the names, which are centred on the themes of women, new life and nurturing, are another step forward for the DHB’s commitment to kaupapa Māori and advancing Māori health outcomes.
“Our leadership has shown the commitment to getting it right, and to ensure our vision, mission and kaupapa is authentic for our whānau and for our staff.”
Te Uru Pā Harakeke – Healthy Women, Children and Youth Clinical Executive Dr Jeff Brown said the aroha and meaning of the gifted names had brought tears to the eyes of charge nurses.
“These are much more than just names, there is such a depth of meaning,” he said.
“We offer the best science-based care and modern obstetrics in our maternity and delivery wards, while now acknowledging the rich knowledge that has been there well before obstetrics was even a word.
“We thank Pae Ora for holding the torch and shining the light on our practice and making sure we are absolutely true to the gift of these names.”
MidCentral DHB Chief Executive Kathryn Cook said the move was significant for the DHB.
“It says a lot about who we are and what we stand for. It’s as much about our commitment to Tiriti o Waitangi as it is about celebrating our community.”
The entrance to the Children’s and Maternity wards have also recently changed, and these are marked by lines on the floor from the main hospital entrance on Ruahine Street.