For Māori

Uniquely New Zealand

Auckland Regional Tissue Bank — Te Ira Kāwai is uniquely New Zealand, and our name reflects this.

Naida Glavish, Chief Advisor Tikanga, General Manager Māori Health, He Kāmaka Waiora, Māori Health, Waitemata and Auckland DHBs, was instrumental in the naming of the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank – Te Ira Kāwai.

"My grandmother raised me. And when someone asks me for a name, I immediately meditate to my grandmother and think, now, how would you advise me, you know, to consider this name? And it just comes. Te Ira is the DNA. Kāwai is the genealogy".

"You go back as far as you can and come forward, even track it to the unborn child. Te Ira Kāwai is immediately a concept. When Māori use it, straight away it tells a story about your ancestry. Just those words alone – THE ancestry, YOUR ancestry — is really what that is saying."

How the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank — Te Ira Kāwai supports Māori

Māori people have a long history of supporting their whanau and the public good.

This commitment is especially needed today in regards to the donation of tissue for cancer research being done in New Zealand by some of the world’s top researchers.

They have a critical need for human tissue — including tissue from Māori — to help them make medical breakthroughs that could one day stop cancer in its tracks.

It is hoped that Auckland Regional Tissue Bank — Te Ira Kāwai will help improve the health outcomes for Māori, who unfortunately have some of the world’s highest cancer rates.

Karakia and blessing; Kaitiaki role

Auckland Regional Tissue Bank - Te Ira Kāwai acknowledge that Māori have unique cultural and spiritual beliefs related to human tissue.

Auckland Regional Tissue Bank - Te Ira Kāwai are Kaitiaki (Guardian) of donated human tissue and committed to ensuring that appropriate protocols and safeguards - both scientific and cultural - are established, respected and adhered to.

On 3 February 2016, Kaumātua Jacobs performed a karakia and blessing before the opening of the new Auckland Regional Tissue Bank - Te Ira Kāwai facilities in the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences (Grafton Campus).

Uni Tissue Bank Blessing 45
Naida Glavish
Naida Glavish, Chief Advisor Tikanga, General Manager Māori Health, He Kāmaka Waiora, Māori Health, Waitemata and Auckland DHBs

Māori presence on Scientific Advisory Board

Tereki Stewart, General Manager Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whatua, sits on the Scientific Advisory Board (nominated by Naida Glavish, Chief Advisor Tikanga, General Manager Māori Health).

In addition, Papaarangi Reid, Tumuaki and Head of Te Kupenga Hauora Māori at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, is a member of the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank — Te Ira Kāwai’s Scientific Advisory Board.

The advisory board is charged with setting policy and reviewing significant ethical and cultural matters.

The advisory board ensures that the Auckland Regional Tissue Bank — Te Ira Kāwai incorporates tikanga Māori, in acknowledgement of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The advisory board includes representation from mana whenua, the contributing institutions, and the community, along with strong clinical/scientific input from academia.

For more information about the advisory board.