Rachael Hetaraka

Child Health Programme Leader

Completed my Bachelor in Health Science (Nursing) at Northland Polytechnic 1998

Graduate of Nga Manukura o Apopo; Clinical Leadership Programme for Maori Nurses and Midwives

Currently undergoing post graduate study in Leadership and Management for Quality Health care with University of Auckland and completing a 12 month Leadership Programme with Northland Health District Health Board

I began my child health journey with Manaia PHO in 2008 when I joined the team as the Outreach Immunisation Service Coordinator.  During this time I have been part of a system and team where significant improvements were made to the immunization rates for the area particularly for tamariki Maori.  Working with general practices to modify the practice systems and being able to immunize those children in the community made and continues to make a positive impact.   

Prior to this mahi I was working at Northland Health DHB in the area of Acute Stroke, Assessment and Rehabilitation.


Present Role

In 2013 I became the Child Health Programme Leader and now have the pleasure of supporting the Outreach Immunisation team, the B4Sc Coordinator for Northland and the Manaia PHO B4Sc Nurse. This team is dedicated to addressing the health needs of children 0-5 years of age in a number of ways but always ensuring that children are linked in to the General Practice setting and with Well Child/Tamariki Ora services.

A big part of my role since 2013 has been my involvement with the Whangarei Children’s Team (1 of 2 demonstration sites in NZ), firstly as a member on the design group and now with the roll out in to General Practice.


Quality improvement is always central to the work that we do, one of the current projects jointly carried out with the Northland PHOs Health Promotion Manager is developing a Tamariki/Whanau Friendly PHC Framework.  This framework has a strong focus on the rights of the child to receive health care in NZ and is linked to the 4 Pillars of Clinical Governance for Primary Health Care.  Work in progress so watch this space!


My passion is children, their health, their whanau and their future.  Every day the aim is to make access to PHC just that little bit more achievable for whanau, whether that be by supporting the child health teams who are delivering care in the community, developing long term quality frameworks, working on national programmes in our area or by being involved in joint discussions and decision making with practice nurses and other child health colleagues over the phone.  


Phone: 09 438 1015
Fax: 09 438 3210