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New pilot programme to provide in-homecare support to elderly and vulnerable in Rarotonga

Monday 30 October 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Features


New pilot programme to provide in-homecare support to elderly and vulnerable in Rarotonga
Rarotonga Home Healthcare ‘Toku Nei Ora’anga Ora – My Health, My Life’, Tarina Moorfield (left) and Maui Daniel’s premium nursing and health services are available to provide unwell and vulnerable people in the community with the best possible care in the comfort of their own homes. MELINA ETCHES/23102404

Rarotonga Home Healthcare ‘Toku Nei Ora’anga Ora – My Health, My Life’, a local privately owned health care service provider on the island is pleased to announce a recent new partnership with Pacific Homecare, a Charitable Trust organisation providing home-based health care and Whānau Ora services in Aotearoa New Zealand.

After months of preparation, the partnership has been officially formalised generating excitement as the pilot programme prepares to get off the ground.

Rarotonga Home Healthcare (RHH) is led by Cook Islands nurses Maui Daniel and Tarina Moorfield who are both directors of the company.

Between them the women have over 30 years of nursing experience locally and abroad.

They have been operating for a year now and are overwhelmed with the significant demand for their services in the community.

Daniel says: “The elderly and vulnerable members of our community are in desperate need of support and care. The existing government assistance provided to Cook Islanders with significant health and disability conditions is insufficient.”

Moorfield adds: “Within our community, numerous individuals or couples are navigating through challenging circumstances, supporting one another or themselves amidst hardship and despair.

“As health professionals, we consider it our duty to advocate for these individuals and others alike, ensuring they receive the necessary support and a quality of life they deserve as valued contributors to our Cook Island society,” said Moorfield.

The pilot programme is focused on providing the best possible care and support to the elderly, unwell and vulnerable individuals in the comfort of their own homes.

Pacific Homecare Board has partnered with RHH starting on the 1st October 2023 until the end of June 2024.

According to Hamish Crooks, the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Homecare, the partnership between RHH and Pacific Homecare came about in July 2019 during the Cook Islands Health Conference in Rarotonga.

Pacific Homecare staff attended and delivered a presentation on the services provided by them for the elderly and individuals with disabilities in Auckland.

“The response to that presentation was an overwhelming number of expressions of interest from people requesting the development of similar support services for the elderly and disabled in the Cook Islands,” said Crooks.

He explained that in line with their strategic focus, Pacific Homecare was keen to explore options and explore resources to scoping out possible support services for the elderly in the Cook Islands.

This initiative was part of their “return home project,” inspired by the founding trustees of Pacific Homecare, Mama Matarena George and Mama Pi Elisaia, who initially began this work in New Zealand.

These women had started their nursing careers at Rarotonga Hospital in the early 1960s.

In 2021, Pacific Homecare commissioned a scoping report, which identified the necessity of taking initial steps which was to pilot an in-homecare support services to further test the needs in Rarotonga and were looking for options to implement such a pilot before committing further resources.

Crooks said in 2022 they came across the launch of Rarotonga Home Healthcare services and in March 2023 potential collaborations were discussed with Daniel and Moorfield.

He expressed that the key objectives in this partnership is to provide in-homecare support services for the health and wellbeing of elderly or people with a disability who require support in their own homes in Rarotonga and identified by Rarotonga Home Healthcare service team.

“We will work with approximately 10 to 15 customers/clients during this period to be implemented by Rarotonga Home Healthcare service team,” he said.

Pacific Homecare will be involved in the partnership by initially providing seed funding for the pilot project as well as any ongoing management and systems support identified by RHH.

The specific services Pacific Homecare will support will be IN-Homecare support services i.e. Personal cares and Household Management services.

He said the focus is to maintain the quality of health and wellness for the elderly where appropriate.

“In our partnership we intend to pilot this service and review/evaluate what works, what improvements could we do, where are the priority needs for services and accessibility of services?”

He said at this stage if the pilot is successful it is the intention in the partnership to create a multi-year commitment between the partners.

“There is no doubt that globally we have aging populations and people living longer with more long term health conditions,” stated Crooks.

“Our focus is to provide a better quality of life where appropriate in peoples own homes as a start.

“Into the future there will be other needs in our community i.e. Respite care and residential care.

“However our expertise and strengths as a health provider and in partnership with Rarotonga Home Healthcare is the delivery of services in customers/clients own homes as a starting point.”

RHH are welcoming anyone interested in this pilot programme to reach out to their service to learn more about what is available.

Their company philosophy “Toku Nei Ora’anga Ora – My Health, My Life” symbolises the range of services they provide from caregiving to home health aide, health education, and assistance through navigating the healthcare system to access other healthcare providers on the island. 

You can contact Maui Daniel or Tarina Moorfield on, through Facebook, or 54473 or 57638.


Barbara Te Awhitu on 30/10/2023

Well done ladies, awesome work! I know you are much appreciated and needed by our cook island anau Arohanui Barbara & Tony Te Awhitu