Health Precinct - Whiria te tangata (Weaving the people together)

Our Newsletter

Te Papa Hauora is the beating heart of our city's heath and research sector. Representatives of our five partner organisations work together to form the Health Precinct Advisory Council which takes the lead on areas of focus and helps super-charge collaboration.

Our collective is thriving. Signs of activity and progress are obvious in the many new facilities in our part of town. But it is inside these buildings and within our health and education organisations that the truly exciting progress is being made. We are particularly focused on supporting the ongoing education of current and future health professionals, and providing opportunities for them to thrive and have a voice in our system.

This newsletter features a number of stories on education initiatives. It also has links to videos from our 'We're talking health...' event, held recently, that profiles some of our region's finest researchers. I hope you enjoy watching them and learning about some of the many wonderful discoveries being made in our city.

Ian Town
Chair, HPAC


'We're talking health....' profiles local research 

Thanks to those of you who attended our 'We're talking health ...' evening of research talks. From broken hearts, premature babies and geography's role in health, the 10 researchers gave a view of the many and varied health issues being studied by members of Te Papa Hauora.

Watch 10 videos profiling outstanding local health research here.

Zombie runs amok in public health lecture

The University of Canterbury's School of Health Sciences used a zombie to help secondary school students understand health and the implications of disease on communities.

For the fifth year, the School has run an 'Outbreak! Considering heath impacts on society' presentation as part of the University's Discovery Day for Year 12 students. Students get to sample University life by attending a number of mini-lectures.

The premise of the Outbreak! lecture is the spread of a fictitious, rabies-like disease (RAGE) that is transmitted by saliva and causes infected people to behave violently. The audience sees a disease sufferer - the zombie - verbally going 'bananas', before ‘biting’ (post-it notes featuring the word 'bite') several audience members. This allows a visual illustration of the virus spreading, as bite sufferers tag others in close proximity.

University staff playing doctors, parents and journalists share information such as the development of a vaccine, and the death of some children from the vaccine's administration, so students can make and review choices about the best response.

University Professor Ann Richardson, one of the lecture organisers, says it presents real issues and career choices in an easily understood way."

Integrated health system widely praised

Following the mosque attacks, Canterbury DHB staff worked tirelessly. This included orderly, security, administrative, cleaning, catering, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, radiology and mortuary staff who ensured those providing direct care to patients were well supported.


This skill and professionalism has been widely recognised, including by HRH Prince William when he visited Christchurch and met with patients and staff.

A new video features staff working on March 15 and gives insight into how the integrated health system approach worked so well in this most terrible of situations.  

The care and support continues. On discharge, patients and their family members receive a wraparound package of care for what is likely to be a long haul recovery. Initiatives are also in place to support staff and the wider community who were traumatised. 

Otago brings professions together for patients' sake 

70-year-old Mary is about to be discharged from hospital after suffering a stroke. In coming months she will need assistance from a range of health professionals such as her GP, physiotherapist, speech therapist and dietitian. Ensuring Mary gets the best care will require these professionals, and more, to work together and communicate effectively.

Mary is a fictional patient who features in one of the University of Otago's Christchurch Simulation Centre programmes.  The Centre is traditionally a place for the University's medical and postgraduate nursing students to practice clinical and communication skills before using them in the workforce. But for the past few years it has run sessions with health professions from up to eight other disciplines in an Interprofessional Education (IPE) initiative involving Mary.

IPE brings different health professions together to learn about each other and how to work and communicate more effectively. International research shows it reduces errors; improves patient outcomes, safety and satisfaction; and improves staff wellbeing. Read more about IPE and a Te Papa Hauora IPE initiative.

Ara expands its health education 

Ara Institute of Canterbury has extended its offering of postgraduate courses for health professionals.

Established health practitioners can now further their education by studying Ara's new Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Supervision. This is a one-year, part-time programme for industry professionals who want to improve their practice and ultimately better meet the needs of people they are working with.

Ara also offers several other health-related postgraduate qualifications, including a Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Science (Registered Nurse Prescribing).
Dr Kaye Milligan, Ara’s Postgraduate Programmes Co-ordinator, says the institute is refining these qualifications to suit local demand, and looking to introduce new qualifications for nurses and other health professionals.
“Our close contact with clinical staff helps enormously and it is exciting to see registered nurses advance their careers into these areas,” Dr Milligan says.
Recently added postgraduate courses include a course focusing on health consumers with high acuity or with specific nutritional needs as well as diabetes, and courses that support breastfeeding/infant nutrition, and explore the management of health services within the New Zealand health care context.

Women leading Christchurch campus redevelopment 

In what is possibly a New Zealand-first, a group of females are leading a $150-million-plus construction project for the University of Otago.
Last year the University confirmed it would construct a new building on Oxford Terrace to house much of the health research and technology groups on its Christchurch campus. It will then redevelop its existing main building on the Christchurch Hospital site. Read about the development and its female management team here.

Above, from left are Amanda Batchelor (external project manager)
, Jo Wells-Folau (organisational delivery project manager), Tanya Syddall (project director) and Hayley Fisher (architect).

Construction on the new Oxford Terrace building is scheduled to begin next year with earthworks. The project team are currently detailing what each space inside the building will contain and consulting with staff on specialist technology and laboratory requirements. The aerial view, above, shows the location of the two Otago buildings.


TW19 - TECHWEEK 2019

Techweek is an annual national event focusing on, and showcasing all things relating to new technologies and innovation. It is for everybody. 

This year there are a number of events being held by Te Papa Hauora partners in Christchurch, including:

Technology pervades many aspects of our lives these days and health is no different.  During this Tech Week session, we will hear from six people ranging from an IT company expert to health professionals and researchers from the CDHB and the University of Otago Christchurch, who are advancing healthcare through technical applications. Several of these technologies are in use at CDHB and they range from 3D printing of new tissue to Virtual Reality, and from advanced imaging to specialised patient management systems.

When:Monday 20th May
Time: 5:30PM - 7:30PM
Location: University of Otago Christchurch, 2 Riccarton Ave, Christchurch
Register: here

See here for all of the Techweek events


Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education

The University of Otago, Christchurch is hosting the international Leaders in Medical Education (LIME) conference in November 2019. Visit this website to register or find out more. 

New Harley Chambers 


Local property investment company Box 112 are underway with a bold new venture in the former police station on St Asaph and Antigua Streets - The New Harley Chambers.

The New Harley Chambers will group together local and international health and medical practitioners and organisations who will collectively contribute to the Health Precinct vision.


Curious? Prospective tenants with businesses that align with their vision can contact Box 112 or visit the New Harley Chambers website. For more info

Learn more 

Thank you for taking the time to read about the inspiring work our people are doing right here on our door-step. If you would like to know more about Te Papa Hauora/ Health Precinct see our website.
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Te Papa Hauora · Manawa · 276 Antigua St, PO Box 1600 · Christchurch, 8140 · New Zealand

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