September 26, 2023
Māori Health leader Gwen Tepania Palmer dies
Māori health leader Gwen Tepania-Palmer has died at her home in Hamilton.
Ms Tepania-Palmer, from Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Paoa, trained as a registered nurse.
She was appointed by the National Heart Foundation in 1989 as the first director to create a specific response to Māori heart disease, creating Te Hotu Manawa Māori, now Toi Tangata.
She went on to play a role in the creation of a number of significant Māori health initiatives in the 1990s, including a rheumatic feder reduction programme in Northland that led to the development of Ngāti Hine Health Trust, a marae-based nutrition programme, which led to the establishment of Ngāti Porou Hauora, a Māori nursing midwifery service and four Māori health services centres in the Auckland region.
As well as being executive manager of Auckland University’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Ms Tepania-Palmer served for 18 years on the Waitemata and Auckland DHBs and was a director of the Health Quality and Safety Commission.
Her tangi is at Kirikiriroa Marae in Hamilton.
After the funeral service on Wednesday morning she will be taklen by whānau to her final resting place in Kaiaua.
Haere, haere, haere atu rā ki te okiokinga, ki tō kainga tūturu mō tātou te tangata.