Lyvia Marsden Retirement

After 60 years in the Health sector, Lyvia has decided to retire, and return home to Tinopai on the Kaipara Harbour. Lyvia leaves Te Puna with our gratitude and aroha

  • In 1964, Lyvia qualified as a registered nurse
  • Became district nurse in 1973 for 7 years in Takapuna and Milford when terminal cancer patients were not cared for in hospitals and there were no hospices.
  • Lyvia set up a small rest home in the house next door in Birkdale, which she ran for severalyears, with no staff, caring and cooking for five patients and families.


  • Founding member of the National Council of Maori Nurses, (NCMN) established out of concerns that there were so few qualified Maori nurses and the institutional racism that the Council was confronting. Travelled the country visiting marae to get endorsement.


  • Maori health providers were being set up throughout the country. Led by Rob Cooper and Gwen Palmer. Awataha Marae chosen as one of the sites for marae-based Maori services.
  • Lyvia becomes nurse coordinator at Awataha Marae.
  • Client base started with the six kohanga reo already established on the North Shore. Encouraged Kohanga Reo families to access clinic. She set up clinical structure and doctor's surgery in the first year.
  • After two years, Lyvia believed the services needed to be for the wider North Shore community not only for those associated with the marae. With a small team, wrote a new constitution and business model, to challenge marae for contract to deliver services when it came up for renewal.
  • Won the contract from the regional health authority and Te Puna Hauora o Te Raki Paewhenua was born separate from Awataha Marae.
  • Looking for what was needed to make the health service a Maori one. Attended a
  • Dynamics of Whanaungatanga seminar by Northland priest Pa Henare Tate. An epiphany that changed her life and showed the model she was looking for. Loved how Maori values melded together in the model and helped Maori find their inner selves.
  • Based Te Puna Hauora's constitution, model and practices on that concept.


  • Faced many barriers and limitations in first years on split from marae, including backlash from mainstream doctor groups
  • Lyvia’s vision was that the Marae could be a centre of excellence. She obtained a 20-year lease on land for health and social services and a childcare centre.
  • Funding was secured from both the Lotteries Commission and the ASB Trust to build a conference room, kitchen and carparks. Further funding was obtained from the Ministry of Education, ASB Trust, and Lotteries Commission to build an early childhood centre for 50 children on site


  • In 2004 Te Puna Hauora won the Ministry of Health Whanau Ora Supreme Innovation Award (Tohu Kahukura) for the Harakeke I-MAP model and was joint Supreme winner with Ngati Porou Hauora of Te Matarau Maori Health Provider Award.
  • In 2005 services were offered from 166 Birkdale Road, a building which was purchased by Te Puna Hauora to service the Birkdale and Beach Haven whanau who prefer to access
  • services closer to home.
  • In the 2007 New Years Honours list Lyvia recieves the Queens Service Medal (QSM) for services to public health
  • Lyvia formed a PHO partnership with Waitemata Doctors, however differences were apparent between mainstream model and values-based model from an indigenous source so Lyvia set
  • up a separate PHO until 2011.
  • In 2011, Te Puna Whānau Ora Network Alliance Ltd was established, a subsidiary company of Te Puna Hauora to replace the dis-established Te Puna PHO Commenced official relationship with ProCare which allowed maintenance of PHO functions
  • In 2014, establishment of Te Pou Matakana Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency Te Puna Hauora becomes part of the Te Pae Herenga Waka o Tamaki Collective impact group across metropolitan Auckland.
  • In 2020, Lyvia is honoured as Māreikura by the Te Pae Herenga o Tāmaki Whānau Ora Collective for her tireless work over the decades for whanau in Tamaki