Mātai News

Mātai story told by international film-maker

The Gisborne Herald, 29 December 2022

Former military man and now film-maker and correspondent Mikey Kay in Gisborne to film a piece on Mātai Research Institute for the GE Healthcare series ‘On the Frontlines’. “There’s amazing work happening ay Mātai”, he said. 

International film-maker and journalist Mikey Kay says it has been “an honour” shooting an episode of the latest season of On the Frontlines docuseries in Gisborne.


Kay left the city “with a full heart” after filming a piece on the Mātai prostate cancer project and concussion research.


In the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, GE Healthcare launched the On the Frontlines series to capture the efforts and response of the healthcare industry around the world.


Over two years later the series continues to tell stories about the greatest global health challenges and innovations, and the patients, clinicians and technology involved.


“I have the privileged position to be able to tell other people’s stories,” says Kay. “It’s not a responsibility I take lightly. I travel the world and meet the most wonderful individuals.


“Everyone has a back story. It’s my role to find it and to develop a relationship with the individual to make them feel comfortable enough to share their story with me.”


Welshman Kay is a former assault helicopter pilot and strategic military planner for the British military who was deployed on 10 tours of duty including Baghdad.

He now specialises in multimedia journalism as a correspondent and solo film-maker, specifically social impact stories ranging from national security and health to religion and politics.


These have been broadcast widely by agencies and organisations such as the BBC, CNN, ABC News, National Geographic and Vogue.


For the last 18 months, Kay has been travelling the planet telling stories for GE Healthcare, including the latest piece on Mātai.


“Mātai was selected because of the difference it is making in the community and the extraordinary work it is doing in MR imaging research,” Kay said.


Mātai clinical lead and Gisborne Hospital head of radiology Dr Dan Cornfeld said they were immensely grateful to have Kay tell their story.

“This work will help build awareness around how the advanced technology can provide a more accurate and equitable approach to prostate cancer diagnosis in the public health system.


“It will also help inform a global audience about the cutting edge work happening at Mātai in the concussion space.


“Thank you Mikey for travelling halfway around the world to help share our stories. We would also like to thank all those involved with the filming, especially Te Whatu Ora (Health New Zealand) and the prostate cancer support group.


Kay said Gisborne was the final storytelling location for him this year.


“I leave with immense gratitude for the relationships I have forged. Filming solo isn’t easy and I rely on the support of those I’m filming with to make time in their busy and important schedule to share their experiences.


“I was welcomed with open arms in this beautiful town. Dr Samantha Holdsworth (Mātai chief executive and director of research) was truly magnificent with her generosity of time and giving me access to some of the most compelling minds I have ever filmed with.


“A special thanks also to the wonderful human that is Dr Dan Cornfeld — a remarkable individual who is bringing unparalleled expertise in healthcare to Gisborne that a significant part of the community is likely to benefit from.


There’s amazing work happening at Mātai and I’m honoured to be able to tell stories of the impact on better health.


”I leave with a full heart. Mā te wā Gisborne. It’s been truly special.”


A date has not yet been set for the launch of the latest On the Frontlines season. The stories will come out in early 2023 and will be available online on the On the Frontlines web page, GE HealthCare social media channels (LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter) and YouTube.