Improving The Lifelong Outcomes Of Tamariki


How it Works

All children and adolescents should have the right to quality care from knowledgeable and experienced health professionals. Our Health strand focuses on providing efficient and accessible health care to students in primary and secondary schools, ensuring medical attention is never far away for tamariki.

In primary schools, daily school health clinics are available with nurses or whaanau workers onsite, for secondary school students, an enhanced health service which includes full-time nurses and youth workers, as well as weekly GP hours.

Kootuitui ki Papakura -Making a Difference

The Situation

Papakura East is in the highest 1% of Census Areas for childhood hospitalisations, potentially in part linked to housing.

  • Inequitable access to primary care- 46% of school-age children haven’t visited their GP in the last year.
  • Pacifika children are 75 times more likely to contract rheumatic fever- a disease successfully eliminated in most first-world countries.
  • One-third of children with a sore throat, often a precursor to rheumatic fever, were not seen by a GP.

The Program

A partner initiative with the DHB School-based Nurse practitioners, Registered Nurses and Youth Workers to support our cluster school’s health programs.

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Current Initiatives

  • Each primary school classroom is visited once a week with particular emphasis on identifying sore throats and respiratory skin infections- these are the most common types of illnesses faced by children living in poor-quality housing.
  • Sore throats can lead to rheumatic fever. When identified early and appropriate interventions are sought, children will not face the chronic health impacts of rheumatic fever- NO GAS throat remains untreated.
  • All children identified as unwell are actively followed up, and Kootuitui funds medication to remove any barriers to child health.
  • Kootuitui supports Papakura High School with an additional Nurse Specialist, Registered Nurse, Youth Worker and Administration. Unfortunately, this is still insufficient, and the school faces constant pressure to manage the daily social and physical well-being needs.
  • Kootuitui funds $6500 in health consumables per annum.
  • Funding a Clinical Nurse Specialist means the well-being team can prescribe and administer birth control on the spot.


  • Before Kootuitui launched this initiative, over one-third of students had never been assessed for strep throat; – Now, 98% of all sore throats are seen by a local health professional.
  • On average, 3000 child health assessments are carried out annually, with 4000 throat swabs and 400 skin infections treated.
  • Teen pregnancies have reduced from 22 to 2 per annum.

Counties Manukau DHB reviewed this program and found it highly effective in identifying and treating avoidable diseases.

Next Steps

COVID-19 has taken its toll on the mental well-being of our young people. Kootuitui seeks to increase our investment in our decile 1 & 2 schools to ensure students have timely access to mental health well-being support and intervention.

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Our Supporters

We benefit from the support of funders, partners and community organisations, and the commitment of the schools’ boards, leaders, teachers and staff.