Monday 12 September 2022Media release3 minutes to read
Ngāi Tūāhuriri has gifted a special name – Kurawaka: Waipapa – for Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury’s new central city community maternity unit.
The gifted name was chosen by Reriti Tau and given by Te Maire Tau, Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri hapū Ūpoko, because Kurawaka has great significance in Te Ao Māori, the Māori world, for bringing life into the world.
“Kurawaka is the place where the first human being was made by Tāne. Tāne created a figure out of the soil at Kurawaka and blew his breath into its mouth and nose. She then sneezed and came to life, creating the first woman Hine-ahu-one, also known to Ngāi Tahu as Io-wahine,” says Michelle Turrall, chair of Manawhenua Ki Waitaha.
“The various elements that came together at Kurawaka to give life to Hine-ahu-one are symbolic of the journey a woman experiences to pass on this gift of life in the birth of her child.
“Adding Waipapa to the name denotes the whenua of where this unit sits. It means surface water and signifies the many springs that were in the area.”
Executive Director of Midwifery and Maternity Services Norma Campbell says the organisation is privileged to be given such a name for this unit.
“With this name now comes the responsibility to ensure that the vitality given to Hine-ahu-one now flows through the unit to our māmā and pregnant people pēpi and whānau who come to birth there,” says Norma Campbell.
“There are exciting times ahead to have a Te Ao Māori model of care underpinning this unit – we have been gifted this taonga and therefore we are committed to honour that gift.”
Kurawaka: Waipapa is a community maternity unit which will have four birthing rooms, 20 post-natal rooms, two whānau rooms, an education room and six assessment rooms and will be located at 68 St Asaph Street.
“Our Facilities and Infrastructure Programme Office has worked extensively with user groups to complete the design of the internal layout of the unit that meets the needs of the community,” says Dr Rob Ojala, Executive Director Infrastructure.
“The building will now undergo an extensive fit-out to transform it into a welcoming, modern, fit-for-purpose facility and we are looking forward to construction getting underway before the end of the year.”
The tender for the lead contractor to carry out construction closed on 30 August and an appointment is expected shortly. Building consent has also been applied for. The unit is expected to be operational in mid-2023.
More information about our birthing options in Canterbury can be found here https://www.cdhb.health.nz/health-services/maternity-christchurch-canterbury/
For further information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last updated: 19 October 2022
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