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The koru (Māori for ‘loop’) is a spiral shape based on a new unfurling silver fern frond and symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace, all aspects which are important to people affected by cancer.

The white circles over the koru reflect the premise that supportive care isn’t a linear process and the needs of the person affected by cancer should be considered continuously.


Te Whare Tapa Wha reminds us that these interdependent aspects of a person all require attention in order for wellness to be maintained. The four taha need to all be attended to or each is affected, taha wairua (the capacity for faith and wider communication), taha tinana (the capacity for physical growth and development.), taha whānau (the capacity to belong, to care and to share where individuals are part of wider social systems) and taha hinengaro (the capacity to communicate, to think and to feel, mind and body are inseparable).


The person affected by cancer and the provider statements remind us that it is the partnership between the two that will deliver the best outcomes. The model seeks to empower the individual in decision-making.


The principles of the model, identified by key stakeholders, are concepts integral to delivering person centred care.


The following principles provide the cradle for, and are important to be upheld when delivering, supportive care:


Whānau Ora Meaning ‘family health’ Whānau Ora is an inclusive approach to providing services and opportunities to all families in need across New Zealand, working towards overall family health.


Compassionate Communication Seen by the sector as being the core of supportive care. The ability by the workforce to communicate with people affected by cancer in a way that they feel heard and valued.


Resilience The ability to tolerate and adapt, to cope with difficult events.


Collaboration of Care Collaborative care is when the system works together to support people affected by cancer with shared understandings and established processes.


See Me as a Whole A reminder that a person is more than a cancer diagnosis and this needs to be responded to by using an understanding of Te Whare Tapa Wha. This is based on the training of Lisa Cherrington and colleagues in the course ‘See me as a whole – I am more than my cancer’.


Manaakitanga Behaviour that acknowledges the mana of others as having equal or greater importance than one’s own. It is the need to preserve this mana in all interactions with a person who is affected by cancer.


Rangatiratanga Self-determination and management of one’s self.


Va A Pacific concept about the space that exists between people – the relationships that support and interlink all parts of a person.


Last Updated October 2016