ECCT has been partnering with Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust (Raukatauri) for the past three years to support their goal of increasing accessibility for the underserved populations and regions of New Zealand. ECCT’s funding goes directly towards supporting the extension of their invaluable services to the Hawkes Bay region.
Raukatauri was established in Auckland in 2004 by singer Dame Hinewehi Mohi and named for her daughter Hineraukatauri who was born with cerebral palsy and is unable to speak. Having taken her daughter to music therapy in the UK and seen first-hand how Hineraukatauri was able to express herself through music, Dame Mohi was inspired to bring music therapy to Aotearoa New Zealand. Raukatauri’s mission is to offer a quality, accessible music therapy service to all people, whatever their needs.
Upon moving to Hawkes Bay in 2017, Dame Mohi realised how difficult it can be for those living in regional New Zealand to access specialist services. The Hawkes Bay Centre became Raukatauri’s first regional centre in April 2018 and currently operates out of Tamatea High School with one Registered Music Therapist, Ella Polczyk-Przybyla. A second full-time Registered Music Therapist will be starting in January 2023, fantastic news for Hawke’s Bay as Ella has a full client list of approximately 60 people with ages ranging from three to 62 years and an ever-growing waiting list. The new therapist will have to hit the ground running to keep up with the demand, such is the success of this wonderful programme.
Listening to Ella talk so passionately about what music therapy offers, it’s hard not to be moved by the amazing work this organisation and its therapists are accomplishing in our region. The benefits of this programme are not only evident in their clients, but also in the positive impacts for their whānau and the wider communities.
Ella currently sees children and adults with developmental disabilities, clients recovering from strokes and others with dementia. Essentially this programme can help everyone. We all have a physical reaction to music, it evokes memories, emotions and generally makes us feel wonderful. As the famous musician Yehudi Menuhin commented “Music is a therapy. It is a communication far more powerful than words, far more immediate, far more efficient.”
ECCT looks forward to seeing this programme go from strength to strength.