This week the Manawatu community farewelled MidCentral District Health Board long-time kaumatua Matua Rocky Hudson, after many years involvement with the board.
More than 100 people including whanau, colleagues and friends attended the farewell function at Te Hotu Manawatu Rangitane O Manawatu Marae in Palmerston North.
Rocky is retiring back to his family roots in the Taranaki, after more than 30 years of work, including his kaumatua role for the MDHB.
Various speakers acknowledged Rocky’s work in the district, guiding many groups and people to help improve health, especially for the Maori community.
Main speakers included: Tanenuiarangi Manawatu Incorporated Ropu CE Danielle Harris; Manawhenua Hauora chair Oriana Paewai, Te Wakahuia Manawatu Trust health Manager Delwyn Te Oka, and MDHB chairman Phil Sunderland.
Mr Sunderland acknowledged Rocky ‘as a leader and colleague in health’.
“When I first joined MidCentral DHB in 2010 as the Chair, the exiting Chair Ian Wilson actively acknowledged the strong and humble leadership you had offered to him and the previous board.
“Since that time, I too have experienced your expert guidance and support as we as a Board endeavour to improve health outcomes for our community.
“Your wise counsel and humble leadership has actively guided us over these years, to navigate a practical way forward to improve health gains for the Maori community.
“Your unwavering dedication to improving hospital and community services for the Maori community has been recognised in many ways, most recently by the Ministry of Health in recognition of the volunteer contribution made by the Mangai Kaumatua Roopu.
“I personally would like to thank you for the support and guidance you have given me personally and professionally in my role as the Chair of MidCentral DHB so that we remained focused on improving health and disability services for Maori across our district.
“I wish you all the very best for your return to Taranaki, that you get time to share with your whanau, and enjoy your memories of your enormous contribution to us and the district as a whole. We have indeed been privileged to have you by our side for so long,” Mr Sunderland said.
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