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New Buller facility name released – Te Rau Kawakawa

Thursday 23 June 2022Health news2 minutes to read

The name Te Rau Kawakawa has been gifted to the new Buller facility by mana whenua Ngati Waewae, and the West Coast DHB formally endorsed the name at today’s final board meeting.

DHB Board Chair Rick Barker, thanked Ngati Waewae for gifting the name.   At the meeting DHB board member and Ngati Waewae Chair Francois Tumahai explained the new name, saying it was consistent with the name of the Greymouth hospital facility Te Nikau (also a plant).

A report prepared by the Hauora Māori team outlined that the kawakawa is a traditional Māori therapeutic/healing plant used for centuries either as a drink, inhaled, or as a balm for rashes, allergies or other ailments.  It is considered to be one of the most potent medicinal herbs in rongoā (traditional Māori healing).

Kawakawa is also a type of Pounamu known for healing purposes and found in the Arahura awa (river), sacred to the Ngati Waewae.

Progress on the new facility has been steady.  Roofing is complete, brickwork cladding is continuing, gib has been procured and installation is underway.  The facility is due for completion mid-2023 and is progressing faster than expected.

Te Rau Kawakawa

Aerial image of the new Buller facility, taken last week.

ENDS

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Page last updated: 23 June 2022

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