Whakarongorau Aotearoa: Listening with great intent and purpose

Whakarongorau Aotearoa logo

Homecare Medical has a new name – Whakarongorau Aotearoa. The English version of the name is New Zealand Telehealth Services. There is no change to the service brands.

Chief Executive, Andrew Slater says they began the review into their organisational name in 2018. “We wanted to find a name that better described the work we do. Over that time we de-prioritised this work as we have focused on service delivery, and most recently on supporting the Government’s COVID-19 response,” says Andrew.

We asked contemporary Māori artist Wayne Youle to look at an icon to describe and represent our purpose and our mahi. He was inspired by the whakatauki ‘he reo marohirohi ka taringa rongohia’ – a brave voice deserves a sympathetic ear.

Whakarongorau is a word to describe the many ways to listen; whakarongo (to listen), ā-rongorau (a modern word for multimedia, the many ways of communication or media). It is derived from the old Māori word whakarongorua, to listen with great intent and purpose.

More information about Whakarongorau Aotearoa available here

Whakarongorau Aotearoa (Homecare Medical as it was known then) has been providing clinical support for general practices after hours for more than 20 years. Since November 2015, it has also been operating Government-funded free to the public, 24×7 national telehealth services across seven digital channels. Those services include Healthline, 1737 – Need to talk?, Quitline, the national sexual harm helpline Safe to talk, the Puāwaitanga counselling service, and the cervical and bowel national screening coordination centres. These services are co-funded by the Ministry of Health, ACC, Te Hiringa Hauora Health Promotion Agency, Ministry of Social Development, and the Department of Corrections.

Events of the last 18 months have disrupted and reshaped Aotearoa and the health landscape. Whakarongorau Aotearoa have set up and operate the COVID Healthline and the COVID vaccination helpline. To date over 1 million contacts have been made to these COVID support services.

The Whakarongorau Aotearoa run services are supported by nine clinical teams of registered nurses, mental health nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, counsellors, doctors, paramedics, poisons officers, health advisors, family and sexual harm professionals, and emergency triage nurses. Around 1,200 staff work from contact centres in Auckland, Kaikohe, Wellington, and Christchurch and from their homes across Aotearoa.

Whakarongorau Aotearoa responded to 1.33 million contacts in the twelve months ending 30 June 2020. That is an increase of 45% on the previous year and saw the team connect with over 700,000 individual people^ (1 in 7 people in Aotearoa).

Whakarongorau Aotearoa is owned by ProCare and Pegasus Health.

^The total number of individual people in the year is the sum of unique service users each month, so may include users who have contacted the service in multiple months.

Read the full May newsletter here