ProCare, New Zealand’s largest network of primary healthcare professionals, has today announced the launch of a new cultural competency app called ‘ihi’ as part of its equity journey and as a way of helping staff, its network and wider stakeholders to increase their engagement in Te Ao Māori.
ihi makes the crucial link between language and culture, with content covering te reo Māori pronunciation, tikanga Māori, mihimihi/pepeha (introductions), ngā mihi (greetings), whakataukī (proverbs) and waiata (songs).
Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at ProCare says: “ProCare is delighted to present ihi for our staff, our network and partners which is more than 2,500 people and their whānau. It’s so simple to use as it has the ability to swipe over words to listen to the pronunciation. This will allow people to practice in their own way, therefore giving them confidence in using te reo, supporting them to be more inclusive and connect with, respect and appreciate te ao Māori in their daily mahi (work).
“Ultimately, we hope using the app will contribute to positive engagement with health practitioners so to improve health outcomes for Māori,” she continues.
Mihi Blair, Kaiwhakahaere Māori at ProCare says: The name ihi was chosen to encourage users to start their cultural journey with enthusiasm. Starting a new journey always takes courage as you step into the unknown. The feeling when you are about to do something challenging, yet amazing – that’s ihi. That is how we want user to feel when they start using the app.
“Developing the kupu (words) for this kaupapa (purpose/principle) is part of our commitment to include Te Tiriti and equity in all aspects of our work. It is also the right thing to do. We wanted to lead by example for our whānau and help others to lead by example too,” she concludes.
ihi has been developed in conjunction with Maori-owned technology company Kiwa Digital and can be downloaded free from the Apple app, Google play or Microsoft store.