Fostering cultural competence: Introducing Katoa – an app to support Pinnacle’s bicultural journey

07 August 2023

Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōna te ngāhere. Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.

The bird who partakes of the miro berry owns the forest; the bird who partakes of education owns the world.

Katoa, a new customised app, will make it easier for Pinnacle staff and the Midlands Health Network to learn and use Māori language, culture and customs in their day-to-day work.   

Developed by Pinnacle and local technology provider KIWA Digital, Katoa aims to support Pinnacle’s efforts to build a culturally aware health workforce across the entire network.  

KIWA’s managing director, Steven Renata, launched and showcased the Katoa app on 1 August, the 36th anniversary of te reo Māori as an official language in Aotearoa, at Pinnacle’s monthly staff hui.   

Katoa provides information including tikanga for settings such as marae protocol, written and pre-recorded pronunciation of ngā kupu Māori (Māori words), karakia and waiata for meetings, and dialectical differences.

There is also functionality to complete and record pepehā and mihi, a sign language video to Purea Nei, one of the waiata on the app, and a kuputaka / glossary of Māori words that describe the language of patient wellbeing, practice-based roles, and other conversational words.   

The app is a welcome extension to Pinnacle’s health equity policy and cultural competency framework, and an important part of the organisation’s commitment to healthcare equity and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  

There are more than 93,000 Māori patients registered with practices across the Pinnacle network, engaging with a predominantly non-Māori health workforce for their health and disability needs.   

Katoa is freely available to the network via the iOS and Android stories and can be used on any smart device. Once downloaded it can be used offline 24/7.