Over $2m of health funding for Hawke’s Bay as anniversary looms

Te Whatu Ora Te Matau a Māui has launched a $2m hauora and wellbeing package, including seven free counselling sessions and online doctor consults for Hawke’s Bay residents affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.

We’re supporting people with a comprehensive package, which alongside the counselling, includes online doctor consults, pharmacy treatments, and the traditional Māori healing practice of rongoā, says Te Whatu Ora Cyclone Gabrielle Recovery Manager Pania Shingleton.

“Last year was challenging for many in our community, and we want to get 2024 off to a more positive start,” says Shingleton.

Further healthcare help is being given to people displaced in category one, two or three and all Wairoa residents - two free GP and nurse visits, and a free after-hours emergency consultation.

“We are wanting to ensure this package is effective in helping people where it is needed, with a wide range of options to ensure people are able to look after their health and wellbeing,” says Shingleton.

Funding has also been allocated to five Māori Health providers to facilitate people accessing Practice Plus, an online doctor service, giving people a place in the community to ask for help. These providers are helping people book appointments on the Practice Plus app, including people who are not enrolled with a doctor.

“We know accessing healthcare is a barrier to some people in our community. The sooner they see someone the more positive their health outcomes are, which is why we worked this into our funding.

“We urge people to contact their GP if they need someone to talk to.

“Please don’t be shy to reach out to get help. We don’t want anyone to miss out.”


For more information contact:

Please contact the Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand Te Matu a Māui media team on 027 599 9507.

Notes to editors 

  • The following five Māori hauora providers will be providing help and support to access free Practice Plus telehealth consultations and rongoā:
  • Te Taiwhenua ō Heretaunga - Waipukurau and Flaxmere
  • Te Kupenga Hauora - Napier
  • Roopu a Iwi Trust - Maraenui
  • Kahungunu Executive - Wairoa
  • To access the free counselling sessions, you need to visit your GP. There is currently a four to six week wait on these across the region. Counselling is also available through calling or texting 1737.
  • People who have been displaced can get a letter from their council (if property owners), and provide proof of their category one to three address such as a utility bill to that address. This will entitle their household to two free GP and nurse consultations and one after hours consultation, alongside the ‘Reach out for help’ package.
  • Wairoa residents will be able to access free GP and counselling (dependent on need) through the Queen St Practice and supported by Kahungunu Executive, Ngāti Pahauwera and Rongomawahine. The Wairoa hauora providers have also received funding to organise social hauora days for elderly and to provide transport within Wairoa for elderly visiting the GP.

Age Concern Wairoa can also help transport whānau to visit elderly living in residential homes out of the district and will be providing training to whānau carers who are looking after their elderly in their own homes. 

  • The funding is open now and runs until 30 June, 2024.












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