The Council recognises the unique place Māori hold as a tangata whenua in New Zealand and honour the Treaty of Waitangi principles of partnership, participation and protection in the delivery and promotion of healthcare.
The Council acknowledges the importance of Māori oral health practitioners to inform and contribute to positive outcomes for Māori oral healthcare, and supports initiatives like Te Aō Marama.
Te Aō Marama, the New Zealand Māori Dental Association, was formed on 26 May 1995 to address concerns over the state of Māori oral health, as highlighted by research. The Association was founded by dental therapist Mrs Inez Kingi, Kaumātua Mr Pihopa Kingi and Patron Professor John Broughton.
Te Aō Marama is now an organisation of around 100 members, who represent the Māori oral health workforce, including clinicians, specialists, health promoters, support staff, researchers, teachers and students. The membership remains committed to its vision of ‘Hei oranga niho mo te iwi Māori’ – Good oral health for Māori, for life.
Te Aō Marama is an important forum for members to support each other while showcasing and sharing information about new initiatives that contribute to positive outcomes for Māori oral health.Te Aō Marama is also a professional body that acknowledges and celebrates members who are driving positive change, optimising leadership potential and working towards reducing inequalities in Māori oral health.
Future work for Te Aō Marama includes supporting the professional development of the Māori oral health workforce and developing rewarding career pathways, building research capability to conduct significant Māori research projects and working closer with iwi and Māori communities to ensure the best access possible to the best services available.
Vision: Oral health for Māori, for life
Outcome: Māori enjoying good oral health at all ages
Purpose: To provide support and leadership for Māori in oral health
Role: Advocate on behalf of Māori for improved oral health, and to support and develop initiatives that lead to good oral health for Māori
Te Aō Marama is keen for practitioners to know about the organisation, and its specific role in the promotion of oral health for Māori.