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Source: Waikato District Health Board

Photo: At the unveiling – Left to right: Susan King, Alison Jackman, Millie Fraser, Jean Neshausen, Maata McManus, Wati Ngamane, and Maata’s sister Nora.

Last week saw the unveiling of five framed korowai in Thames Hospital’s main corridor as a commemoration of present and past staff, all patients – young and old – who have been cared for in the hospital, and to Ngati Maru for its kind donation of land for the hospital over 150 years ago.

Ngati Maru chairperson Wati Ngamane with one of the framed commemorative korowai.

Literally weaving these strands together were Maata McManus and some of her “korowai ladies” – Tania Rapana, Annie Rewharewha, Jayden Abraham, and Susan King – using the feathers of the toroa (albatross) peacock, petrel and pheasant. The blue, green and white tāniko (border) on three of the korowai represent guardians of the earth, sea and sky, while on the other two the tāniko represents the steps to heaven from Papatūānuku (earth) to Ranginui (sky).

The korowai unveiling was one of a number of hugely successful events held 2-4 November 2018 as the culmination of months of celebrating 150 years of Thames Hospital’s existence, including a book launch, tours of the hospital, historical exhibitions, many staff reunions, a marchers dressed in replica World War 1 uniforms to honour the Thames Hospital nurses who served in the war, and a commemorative service at St George’s Anglican Church.

Read about Maata McManus, who is a community-based kaitiaki in Waikato DHB’s Te Puna Oranga team, and her Commonwealth Points of Light award which recognises outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community across the 53 Commonwealth nations.