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Mon 19 Feb 2018, 8:00am–5:00pm
Tue 20 Feb 2018, 8:00am–5:00pm
Wed 21 Feb 2018, 8:00am–5:00pm
Thu 22 Feb 2018, 8:00am–5:00pm
Fri 23 Feb 2018, 8:00am–5:00pm

Where: Rotorua Lakes Council, 1061 Haupapa St, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: Rotorua Museum

80 years after the launch of this grassroots organisation an exhibition chronicling Te Arawa Women’s Health League opens at Rotorua Lakes Council Galleria on Friday 1 December 2017.

The Te Arawa Women’s Health League was founded by district nurse Robina Cameron with the support of Te Arawa elders in the Rotorua District in 1937. The league’s focus was the health of Māori women and children working through marae-based women’s committees.

The need for such an organisation was revealed in the words of current league president Hariata Pikea.

“Our people and babies were dying, the sanitation was poor, our homes had no water or sewerage, our babies – the mortality rate was so high. I can feel their tears today. Hope arrived in the 1930s, when Kamerana, the little Pakeha nurse, visited us in her Model T Ford and hoihoi (horse).”

Stories told in Autauhinera: Sisterhood – Legacies of the Te Arawa Women’s Health League reflect the lives of women and children in the 1930s and early 1940s and reveals the reality of daily life for women at this time, along with the great sense of camaraderie that still holds true today.

The exhibition, and related book, is the culmination of two years research led by Dr Laurie Morrison and researcher Raina Meha.

Morrison acknowledges the Māori trusts and funding bodies that have made this project possible including the Women’s Health League, Ngati Whakaue Endowment Trust, Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Kearoa and Te Roro o Te Rangi Trusts.

Rotorua Lakes Council and Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa assisted in research and provision of historical photographs for the book and exhibition.

Restaurants to book near Autauhinera: Sisterhood