Judith (Huti) Watson

Judith (Huti) Watson is an Aotearoa/New Zealand Māori of Ngāti Porou / Tainui descent principally based in the Tairāwhiti in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Weipa/Cairns.

‘My social change project involves the development of an existing, innovative locally driven health promotion program called, “Ngāti & Healthy”. The project will strengthen and develop Indigenous, community led approaches to health improvement, to increase community engagement and ownership of wellness needs, and to embed an “action and critical reflection” process to enhance sustainability of the approach.’

Huti is passionate about the wellbeing of her tribe and committed to ensuring that the next generation lives longer and better than the last. She is actively engaged in promoting business enterprise and key economic initiatives that are aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of whānau (family), hapū (extended family) and iwi (tribe) including being Chair of a mānuka honey Māori land owner cooperative, Ngāti Porou Miere LP and Deputy Chair of the Ngāti Porou Hauora Board, a tribally owned health provider.  She has a Masters Degree in Public Health and works with Indigenous people of both Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia.

‘My vision is ‘Kia tu pakari, kei tua o kapenga’ - We will Stand Strong (as a tribe), To Achieve Excellence (in health). This vision is to not only deliver excellence in the provision of clinical services, but to also work intensively with Māori communities to increase their involvement in dealing with community identified issues that relate to their unique social, cultural, spiritual, environmental and health needs.’