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Treaty relationship for top mental health role

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Auckland District Health Board has taken the unusual step of appointing two people to fill the top role in its mental health services.

Hineroa Hakiaha and Tracy Silva-Garay were welcomed this morning as partnership leaders of the Directorate of Mental Health & Addictions.

Dame Naida Glavish, the chief advisor tikanga for Waitematā and Auckland DHBs, says they were two exceptional candidates with complementary strengths.

She says having both Māori and Pākehā in the role is a chance to address some deep seated problems in a sector that has a high number of Māori clients.

"There's no more talking in the mental health area only about institutional racism. It's about fixing it. There's no talking about colonisation. It's about fixing it. It's an exciting day when we can understand what equity according to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and we can action it," Dame Naida says.

Ms Silva-Garay previously worked as nurse director mental health & addictions and more recently as interim director for mental health and addictions, while Ms Hakiaha was the directorate's Māori lead service clinical director.

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