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Mānawatia a Matariki

Thursday, July 6, 2023

National News

To mark the rise of Matariki, Family Planning is observing three key principles: 

  1. Matariki Hunga Nui — Remembrance  
  2. Matariki Ahunga Nui — Celebrating the Present  
  3. Matariki Manako Nui — Looking to the Future

These three principals are outlined on the official Matariki 2023 website. This Matariki, we will review the past year, see where we are today, and cast an eye towards the future.

Matariki Hunga Nui — Remembrance  

Family Planning has a broad membership base, countless clients, many nurses, medical receptionists, doctors, health promoters, administrators, and more. Together, they make us what we are today. It is not possible to account for every person that we have lost this past year — but we can acknowledge the contribution they have made to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Aotearoa.

Our organisation is built on decades of effort — 2023 marks 70 years since the first Family Planning clinic in Aotearoa was opened. We owe everything to the bravery and work of the people who came before us. 

Matariki Ahunga Nui — Celebrating the Present  

As Matariki rises in the north-eastern sky, we pause, take stock, and celebrate. A lot has happened since we last observed Matariki.

A fully functional version of the National Abortion Telehealth Service, DECIDE, is live. The DECIDE website provides online abortion information, abortion services, and accessible abortion care to everyone in Aotearoa. Zero Data initiated support of DECIDE this year — making it free to use on mobile networks.

The people of Aotearoa showed overwhelming support for their irawhiti, trans, intersex, takatāpui, and genderqueer whānau this year. Gender markers on birth certificates, and other legal documents, can now be updated by process of statutory declaration. This a small but significant step towards self-determination for irawhiti, trans, intersex, takatāpui, and genderqueer people in Aotearoa.  

The overturning of Roe v. Wade was, and continues to be, a tragedy for the people of the United States. In Aotearoa, the overruling led to a groundswell of support for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights. At Family Planning, we experienced more member sign-ups in a few weeks than we usually do in year. The right to decide remains central to the values of people in Aotearoa. 

Matariki Manako Nui — Looking to the Future 

From July 2023, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) screening will be offered as an alternative to Smear Testing. HPV screening is an effective, comfortable, and straight-forward method for identifying pre-cursors to Cervical Cancer. Screening can be self-administered, with a simple vaginal swab — no speculums or examinations required. This easy, private, and highly effective HPV screening method is a big step forward for accessible healthcare in Aotearoa.  

Te Whatu Ora is increasing funding to GP and community nurses across Aotearoa. For our nurses at Family Planning, this funding means a pay-rate that comes closer to reflecting the care they provide our communities. There is still further to go — but we are happy to be moving in the right direction. 

This Matariki, we are also looking forward to the launch of a new Family Planning website. The new Family Planning website will replace our current website — and continue to provide easy online access to services, education, products, and appointment bookings.  

Mānawatia a Matariki 

We are so happy that you are here with us this Matariki.

The theme for Matariki this year is: Matariki Kāinga Hokia — Matariki Calls You Home. We hope you get a chance to take time, celebrate, and be with your whānau.

If you want help organising your own Matariki celebrations, or would just like to learn more, check out the official Matariki 2023 website. Mānawatia a Matariki!

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.