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Our Vision

We want to prevent and reverse Diabetes - its prevalence and its damage - for Aotearoa New Zealand’s most high-risk communities.

Ta tatou whakataukī

Ehara tāku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.

“My success is not mine alone, it is the success of the collective”.

No one gets there alone. Our ancestors deemed that our survival was determined by the collective and knew full well that successful collective enterprise was the key to a good outcome.  In our role in the health sector we are accountable to the community and our collective partnership with the various sectors of it allow us to be successful in what we do and continue to do so as time goes on.  The Staff and Board of our Tumu have great skills and our strength lies in bringing these skills together as a collective to enhance the way in which we deliver our services to the community that we look to serve.

Te Ingoa ki te reo

Te Tumu Matehuka o Aotearoa

Literal translation of Matehuka is ‘death by sugar’ but this is not necessarily the actual translation when referring to medical terms prefaced by the word ‘mate’ often refers to the possible end outcome.

So, when using ‘mate’ in a medical sense it can also mean disease or illness or malaise of some kind and that a number of serious medical conditions are prefaced by the word ‘mate’ such as matepuku which is a phrase used for stomach cancer.

The Foundation of our Whare

We have strong roots and connections from over 30 years of working alongside our community in Auckland which gives us direct knowledge and close experience of living with diabetes and what works.

Our Central Pou

To Prevent Diabetes, we seek:

  • to influence factors in our systems which increase the risk of diabetes

  • to prevent or delay progression to diabetes for people at risk

  • to prevent the worst manifestations of diabetes and risks of tissue damage for people with diabetes

To Reverse Diabetes, we seek:

  • to achieve significant long-term improvement in insulin sensitivity and to normalise the levels of glucose in the blood for people with diabetes

Our Supporting Pou

Health & Wellness 
We run programmes promoting health & wellness for people in the supportive environment of community and whānau. We consider Te Whare Tapa Whā principles of taha wairua/spiritual wellbeing, taha hinengaro/mental and emotional wellbeing, taha tinana/physical wellbeing and taha whānau/family and social wellbeing.

We undertake research, and co-design of high-quality community studies on diabetes to find ways to do things differently.

We campaign for better equity and access to best practice treatment options.  We share the experience of our community to all audiences acting for better outcomes for Diabetes in Aotearoa.

Capacity Growth
We build capability for people and groups so our impact can extend through the community. We are building the capacity of our organisation to have more impact.

About the Logo of our Tumu

The Koru was designed by prominent Māori artist Dr Richard Cooper and gifted by him to Diabetes Foundation Aotearoa in 2019.

Dr Richard Cooper was a previous Board member for the foundation, who still works with the community to improve the health of people with or at risk of diabetes.

The design depicts sugar in the blood.

The phrase for our tohu “sugar in the blood" which is “He huka kei te toto”.

Dr Richard Shortland Cooper

Graduated in 2004 with a Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland Elam School of Fine Arts. He was the 5th person to graduate with a Doctorate, even though the Art School is over 100 years old. He was the Arts Head of Department for 5 years for Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

He has exhibited around the world and has sculptures and artworks in countries like Germany, Japan, France, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, USA and Australia. He has numerous public sculptures in the different communities and private collections around Aotearoa.

Being diagnosed with Diabetes, Cooper made a career change into health working for CMDHB as their Māori Long Term Conditions Self-Management Educator for 10 years. He was on the Board of Trustees for The Diabetes Project Trust and Te Mate Huka Trust. He has helped and educated so many whanau throughout Manukau self-manage their diabetes and make better choices with their health.

A Grandfather of 11 grandchildren, with his family background being one of 10 children provides the foundation and inspiration for his works which thematically centre on the importance of The Family.

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