A privilege to be of service

By Taroi Black

Ngāti Whātua gave Dame Rangimarie Naida Glavish a grand Māori salute at Ōrākei Marae for her recent Queen's Honour.

Leading the way in the health sector for Māori issues and incorporating its core values into mainstream practice is what Dame Glavish is renowned for.

Dignitaries from across the country were welcomed onto Ōrākei Marae to celebrate her many achievements. 

She said, “To recognise it is a privilege to be of service, that's what this tohu (medal) means to me.”

She had a dream to pave the way for Māori women, in particular, and her people from Tāmaki Makaurau.

Precious Clarke (Ngāti Whātua) says, “She’s a leader for women in Ngāti Whātua and right across NZ. She has also fought for our rights as women.”

Glavish first came to national attention in 1984, working as a telephone operator for the New Zealand Post Office and was threatened with dismissal by her supervisor for saying "Kia ora" as her phone greeting.

In 2011, she received a QSM for her services to Māori, including 27 years of working for the health sector. She is a role model for future advocates in Māori health. 

Hāpai te Hauora General Manager Mihi Blair says, “The health sector is a hard sector to work in as Māori, she's the one that we really connect with and we ask her for support for our kaupapa.”

A true champion of her iwi and Māori health.