Ko Manaia te maunga,

ko Whangārei-te-rerenga-parāoa te moana.

Ko Whāngarei te wā kāinga ō tōku whānau. Nō ngā motu o Lewis me Harris (Scotland) ōku tipuna; i te tau 1850 i haere mai rātou ki Aotearoa, ki Waipu.

Ko Clair Mills tōku ingoa.

I live now at Matapōuri, with a lot of my whānau living close by on the coast. I trained as a general practitioner in Te Taitokerau and then worked as a GP and public health specialist, in Aotearoa and internationally (mainly with the humanitarian medical organisation, Doctors Without Borders). I was Medical Officer of Health in Northland DHB’s public health team from 2011-2017. I returned from Paris at the end of 2021 after four and a half years working as medical director for Doctors Without Borders. Alongside international humanitarian work, I am passionate about improving hauora and health equity in Aotearoa. I am especially interested in environmental health (te ora taiao) and community and primary health care.

I am the Hauora advisor for TKoT. Initially I was asked to support TKoT’s mahi on the COVID response, given my public health and communicable disease/COVID experience. This has led to further work exploring how iwi can play a greater role in governance and implementation of hauora services - which is especially timely given the current reforms of the health system in Aotearoa.

The hauora of whānau, hapū and iwi is intrinsically linked with the health of our environment (ora taiao) and whenua, the capacity to practice tikanga and te reo, economic prosperity, and Mana Motuhake. Poor health limits the capacity of whānau to reach their aspirations, contributes to economic poverty and loss of tikanga. Without addressing health inequities in Te Taitokerau, and making our health services more accessible and relevant, many whānau will continue to suffer unnecessarily from poor health. Collectively, iwi can have a much stronger voice together to drive change, promote and develop kaupapa Māori services and more integrated approaches.