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Otara Health to become a trust

MELISSA KINEALY
Last updated 05:00 23/09/2010
HEALTH
SIMON WATTS
HEALTHY CHANGE: Otara Health is changing from an incorporated society to a charitable trust. From left: New board chairwoman Diane Maloney, chief executive Louise McCarthy and community advisory group chairwoman Nita Ropata Riki.

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A big change is in the offing for a community health provider.

Health and education services provider Otara Health has played its part in the community as an incorporated society since 1994.

Now it's changing into a charitable trust.

The move follows an 18-month review by board members which included consultation with the community, funders and stakeholders.

Otara Health delivers a range of programmes and services that include physical activity and healthy eating, youth development projects and oral health promotion.

In the past five years staff numbers have doubled and the trust now has 32 fulltime employees.

Chief executive Louise McCarthy says the change to a trust will allow the organisation to continue to develop and grow.

Its services will remain the same but it wants to broaden its service delivery, she says.

In its new role as a trust, it will have a smaller group of board members and a new community advisory group.

Board member and advisory group chairwoman Nita Ropata Riki says they want the organisations that fund the service to gain confidence in it so it can expand the services it offers.

Staff will get input from the advisory group which will act as "door openers" into community areas such as schools and churches.

Advisory group members come from different cultural backgrounds and their knowledge will help support the staff, Ms Ropata Riki says.

Otara Health Charitable Trust starts work on Friday, October 1.

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- Manukau Courier

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