Ngā Rata Kōiwi - The Māori Orthopaedic Surgeons


‘Kōiwi’ is ‘human bone’ but can also be translated as ‘relatives – those you have whakapapa links to’. This rōpū can be reflected as those with whakapapa links to Sir Peter Tapsell - the world's first Māori Surgeon and Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Our name, Ngā Rata Kōiwi is an appropriate way to link us Māori Trainees and Māori Orthopaedic Surgeons to the concept of whakapapa with Sir Peter as our originating tupuna.

Peter Tapsell: Ngā Rata Kōiwi
Peter Tapsell: Ngā Rata Kōiwi
Fern Koru

Ngā Rata Kōiwi was formed in late 2019


We are a group of Māori orthopaedic surgeons and trainees  committed to improving orthopaedic outcomes for all New Zealanders and in particular those who may have been excluded under the normal health model.

We will do this by promoting awareness of Māori outcomes within orthopaedics and by highlighting the works of existing authors in related fields and undertaking new research.

We look to expand and cement the relationships between the NZOA and Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa (Te Ora – The Māori Doctors Association), RACS Indigenous Health Committee, RACS Māori Health Advisory Group and other Māori health groups, so we can be at the forefront in the ever-expanding collection of data driven literature that will shape our knowledge of the best way to deliver healthcare to Māori in New Zealand.

Fern Koru

Rolling up our sleeves...


Ngā Rata Kōiwi will advise the NZOA of developments in the te hauora Māori (Māori health) sphere at a regional and national level and represent the NZOA within the hauora Māori world.

Ngā Rata Kōiwi will provide tuākana / teina (mentoring) relationships for the growing number of Māori trainees and will  assist them throughout the training programme to maintain the exemplary fellowship exam pass rates seen in New Zealand.

We will be a voice within orthopaedics promoting equity for Māori.

Ngā Rata Kōiwi will engage rangatahi at a community level and promote orthopaedics or surgery as a potential career pathway.

Word or phrase of the month

Ako Ipurangi


Welcome everyone - this inaugural recording is a karakia focusing on opening & beginnings.

Whakataka te hau ki te uru,
Whakataka te hau ki te tonga.

Kia mākinakina ki uta,
Kia mātaratara ki tai.

E hī ake ana te atākura he tio,
he huka, he hauhū.

Haumi e! Hui e! Tāiki e!


Settle the westerly winds
Settle the southerly winds.

It will be icy cold inland,
and icy cold on the shore.

May the dawn rise red-tipped on ice,
on snow, on frost.

Bind together! Gather together! Unite!

Our thanks to Lincoln Nicholls for this content & also to Suzanne Pitama's team at Otago University who developed the Aki Hauora app & were generous in sharing their resources.