In the late eighteenth century the Europeans arrived. They came on voyages of exploration initially, followed by traders, whalers and sealers. News of the temperate climate, the fertile land and the potential of kauri logging and kauri gum filtered back to the homelands - a big motivation for the migration which followed. Missionaries headed the next wave of arrivals. The region has a rich history that ties both Maori and non-Maori people together. Having the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands’ is the place where the historic signing of the Treaty of Waitangi (between Maori and the British Crown) took place in 1840. The second signing of the Treaty took place at the Mangungu Mission House in the Hokianga. (“New Zealand’s First North Land,” 2013).
Three diverse districts make up the region of Northland; Whāngārei, Kaipara and Far North. Rich in culture and history, the region boasts a stunning natural environment north of the boundary line that stretches from south-east of Mangawhai across to the Kaipara Harbour and all the way up to New Zealand's northernmost tip, Cape Rēinga. Northland has a sub-tropical climate, making us the warmest region in New Zealand. Annual sunshine hours average about 2000 per annum, in many areas, and typical rainfall for the region is 1500 - 2000mm per annum.
(Northland Regional Council, 2013).
Northland is a long finger of land that is less than 100 kilometres wide at its widest point. With the Tasman Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean on the east. Te Raupau, in the Waima ranges, is the highest point and stands just 781 metres above sea level. As the region’s economy is primarily based on agriculture, approximately 54% of the land is in pasture, 10% is planted in forests and 0.4% in orchards or crops. (Northland Regional Council, 2013). The Northland is described as a region of beautiful warm sub-tropical weather However, this region is renowned for its beautiful scenery and relaxed and culturally diverse lifestyle. The 2006 Census shows the Northland Region has a population of approximately 148,470 people. From this statistic 43,527 Māori usually live in Northland Region, an increase of 2,793 people, or 6.9%, since the 2001 Census. Its Māori population ranks fifth in size out of the 16 regions in New Zealand. 7.7% of New Zealand's Māori population usually lives in Northland Region. (Statistics New Zealand, 2013). In general, the Northland Region presents a bleak picture. Some areas consistently show high levels of deprivation. This is exacerbated further by some of the districts rural isolation, transport and communication difficulties. Two main groups identified as having high health needs in the Northland Region are those of relatively low socioeconomic status and Maori. (Health information Strategy for New Zealand 2005). As there appears to be an interaction and overlap between these two groups, a focus on one alone could miss a large group with health needs. The Northland population is distributed across a region which takes…