Ko Tainui toku waka
Ko Maungatautari me Tararua oku maunga
Ko Waihou me Ohau oku Awa
Ko Pikitu, Ngatira, Tarakena, Tukorehe oku Marae
Ko Ngati Ahuru, me Ngati Tukorehe oku hāpu
Ko Raukawa kao kao roa Patetere me Tukorehe oku Iwi
Ko Betty-Lou Iwikau toku ingoa
I have had the privilege of leading integrated approaches to Māori health issues both in Auckland and the last few years in Manawatu/Horowhenua rohe. Leading planning processes with respect to Māori health and ensuring these are purposeful, targeted and joined with regional and local resources.
Working alongside whānau, hapū, Iwi and the wider communities to increase leadership and support the co-design of whanau-based approaches. Māori health outcomes is a significant piece of work that requires a collective effort and I have a passion and a commitment to engage whānau and resources to ensure a direct approach to rectifying these disparities. Together, collaboratively, I see economic growth in this level of wellbeing.
In 1994 I started adult education classes in my late twenties and three years later was given the opportunity to start working in the alcohol and drug field, supporting Māori men and women with addictions. That led to an opportunity in management, and I began lecturing part-time in social work with a PTE in 1999 and later with Te Wananga O Aotearoa in 2003.
I completed a Bachelor in Māori Development and a Master of Arts in Māori Development, developing Te Toi O Matariki as my thesis, which was based on a personal growth and development model for whānau/families presenting with alcohol and drug abuse. During this time, I became a service manager in Māori health, which gave me a wider perspective of the impacts of poor health on Māori. I graduated with my PhD in December 2012. My doctoral research on Māori and gout was prompted when I realised how prevalent this disease is among our people. My thesis “A Journey for Māori and Gout: Putting Your Best Foot Forward” provided a framework based on a whakapapa paradigm, which I know works in the addiction field.
I now am the Manukura/CEO for Raukawa Whānau Ora a Tribal provider working at multiple layers across social services, justice, health, education sectors. This role provides me the opportunity to engage and expand relationships, kaupapa and different environments from a “whanau Ora” approach. Contributions and feedback into the service delivery when engaging with Government, local government, iwi and Providers requires a dedicated focus. The key outcomes we seek are both transformative of how services are accessed, with opportunity to create improved and equitable pathways of care, and improved health and social wellbeing outcomes for whānau through a range of “Packages of care”.