College adopts Te Reo Māori name
02 March 2021
NZNC Chair Dr Sally Ure launched the name - Te Whare Tohu o Te Hau Whakaora - at the Cultural Safety and Leadership Hui in Waitangi on 28 February 2021.
The name will be gradually rolled out on college collateral produced for use in Aotearoa New Zealand, and is a combination of two options presented to the Māori Anaesthetists Network Aotearoa (MANA).
Te Whare Tohu denotes the status of a college, or literally a “significant house”; o means ‘of’; and Te Hau Whakaora means "the life-giving breath".
The name speaks to the importance of the role of anaesthetists and pain medicine specialists in restoring the breath and “life essence”/Mauri of their patients. It infers the more holistic and sacred work of anaesthetists and pain medicine specialists to preserve the quality of life of their patients.
There is a synergy between this name and the Latin motto on the college coat of arms - Corpus curare spiritumque - which means “To care for the body and its breath of life”.
Many people have been involved in the journey to this point where ANZCA joins most other health, government, education, training, private businesses in Aotearoa New Zealand in recognising Māori as one of the country’s three official language (English and New Zealand Sign language being the other two). However it was former ANZCA President Dr Rod Mitchell who put his name and his enthusiasm behind the quest during his time as the head of the college.
"This strikes me as being a very important step forward for our college. We officially acknowledge that New Zealand, as one of the two nations that define who we are, is a bilingual nation. This is all the more so when Te Reo is so intimately related to New Zealand’s national identity."
Dr Arihia Waaka FANZCA (Te Arawa) of Rotorua Hospital at Lakes DHB is the inaugural chair of MANA, which was integral in the gifting of this name. She acknowledged the importance of the move.
"It is encouraging to see ANZCA acknowledging the value of te reo Māori, and the special contribution that Māori knowledge provides to mainstream doctrine. Many experts, (including linguists, horticulturalists and as we have all learnt recently, astronomers) have long recognised the benefit that a Māori world view can have on our population. I was heartened to see ANZCA go through a non-appropriation process to acquire this name, including recognising the value of a qualified translator (tena koe, e te Whaea). I am hopeful that this is another step forward in our collective journey towards anti-racism. And I hope that our Aboriginal cousins across Te Tai o Rehua can also find a symbol that acknowledges their special contribution to our college."