News August 2, 2021

Kia ū Ora – Waitematā Breast Service Blessing

In anticipation of the official opening set to be held in a few weeks, Kia Ū Ora – the new Waitematā Breast Service at North Shore Hospital was blessed at dawn on Monday 25th January.

Around 25 guests were present for the blessing conducted by Kaumātua Fraser Toi and Kaumātua Arahi Cherie Povey to commemorate the completion of site works and to prepare the service to start receiving patients.

In a special moment, Dr Sue Gerred (pictured above with Kaumātua Fraser, Kaumātua Arahi Cherie and Awhina Brockbank) was gifted a korowai  made by staff member Awhina Brockbank,  a korowai is a  traditional Māori woven cloak worn as a mantle of prestige and honour. The korowai  is a symbol of leadership and includes the obligation to care for the people and environment. Awhina shared the following in regards to her special gift:

“I made this korowai for the Kia Ū Ora,  Waitematā Breast service.

The tāniko band displays a stairway (this represents the patient journey).

The colours are the patient (white), Whānau (Black) & Waitematā staff (Turquoise) who share the patient’s journey, providing support, love and healing.

The colours of the feathers represent Papatūnuku and Ranginui

  • Papatūnuku is the land – the Earth Mother. She is seen as the birthplace of all things. In some stories, it is said that she came from under the water and that after the land rose from the water it gave birth to all life.
  • Ranginui is the heavens – the Sky Father. Some Maori believe that all knowledge and life originated in Ranginui.

This taonga will be displayed behind the reception for all to see when arriving to the clinic – providing comfort and a positive spiritual atmosphere.

The mana of this taonga includes the spirit of dedication, caring and skill of Dr Gerred who wore this during the blessing of the Kia Ū Ōra.”

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