Kaitohu Matamua Māori joins leadership team of the Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner

Ikimoke Tamaki-Takarei (Waikato, Tainui) has been appointed HDC’s Kaitohu Matamua Māori/Director Māori and started in the role on 2 May 2022.

Morag McDowell, Health and Disability Commissioner, says, “We welcome Ikimoke to the HDC whānau as we continue on our journey to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and our work to promote and protect the rights of everyone using health and disability services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“The role of Kaitohu Matamua Māori is a significant one, and Ikimoke will be a key member of HDC’s executive leadership team. He will have specific responsibilities to help HDC honour its Te Tiriti obligations, and ensure our processes are accessible and meet the needs of Māori,” says Morag.

Ikimoke has extensive experience working across government agencies and has worked with the Department of Corrections, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and, more recently, the Ministry of Health. He comes to HDC from the Waikato District Health Board as the Director of Tikanga within the Māori Equity and Health Improvement Directorate.

Ikimoke is the Deputy Chair of Te Whakaitenga o Waikato, the iwi governance group that manages iwi strategies and aspirations. He is a passionate and valued community member, where he advocates for iwi well-being, health strategies, aspirations, and opportunities.

Ikimoke says, “It’s vital that people who experience poor outcomes in the health and disability system understand their consumer rights and their right to request feedback through HDC’s complaints process.

“If we work together to better understand these rights and responsibilities, we will be able to improve whānau/consumer experiences within the health sector.

“We must close the gap in systemic disparities and inequity. We can only achieve this by working together,” says Ikimoke.