Jason Sayers appointed Lakes DHB Pou Whakarite Manaaki Whānau


Mortuary manager takes on new role to help whānau in the community with health services.

Newly appointed Pou Whakarite Manaaki Whānau Jason Sayers says he has always had a role of serving and helping whānau and this new role is a continuation of his previous positions.

“I enjoy supporting whānau in the community, helping whānau and services in the hospital, giving my experience of support in a time of grief and having the time to explain the process.”

Jason says he has worked in a role supporting whānau for 19 years in the Lakes DHB Mortuary, has ten years’ funeral home experience and strong iwi and sport connections to help him in his new role.

“I’m compassionate and my concern for others helps me in this role. I have good connections with iwi and community outside of mahi; playing rugby league for Pikiao and coaching for 20 years."

"I’ve had the privilege of working with so many families from Te Arawa and afar and the connections of other team players.

"I have wonderful connections through Brazilian Jujitsu, locally and nationally as a practitioner of five years. Being involved in a multitude of community positions will help me navigate this role.”

He says he sees the role is a key position to effect change. His vision for the role is to be a key connector for equality across the sector for Māori in health and well-being, and helping whānau with access to health services.
The most exciting part of his new role so far is learning and working with Māori and growing his own knowledge and understanding.

“The learning around mātauranga Māori has been exceptional, the journey ahead of truly understanding whakapapa and connections and Te Ao Māori is what excites me the most. This approach strengthens my connection to our iwi and whānau and community in the new role.”

Director Equity and Health Outcomes Delivery Mapihi Raharuhi says the role reflects the importance of capturing learnings from iwi, Māori communities and providers working together during COVID with a Māori approach to ensure whānau were vaccinated and cared for.

Mapihi says the role is a whānau and community focused position and Jason will work with Māori communities to ensure Māori have the support they need to improve access to health care and treatment.

He will provide advice, support and leadership to support Māori models of health care and bring decision makers and iwi together to facilitate co-design of prevention programmes.

He will support kaupapa Māori development, matauranga Māori models of care and proactively work to strengthen relationships across Te Arawa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa hapu, iwi, whānau and communities.

Jason affiliates to Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue – Ngati Rangiwewehi - Ngāti Pikiao - Ngāti Uenukukōpako as well as Ngāti Kahu iwi – Waimahana hapu.

He started working at Lakes DHB in April 2003 in the Mortuary as a trainee mortuary technician, qualifying in 2005. He was appointed Mortuary Manager in December2009 and began with the Māori Health Equity team in February 2022.