‘Te Rākeitanga o Tōku Korowai hei Āhuru Mōwai Mōku - Adorning my cloak as a sheltered haven for me,' was the kaupapa for the National Māori Student Nurses Hui in Rotorua last month.
The four-day hui, held at Toi Ohomai Institute Technology’s Tangatarua Marae, attracted around 130 participants, made up of nursing students, registered nurses, educators, and those thinking of starting a nursing career, including at Corrections.
Opened with a rousing pōwhiri on Tuesday 18 May, the hui was co-hosted by Toi Ohomai and Te Kaunihera o Ngā Neehi Māori o Aotearoa (National Council of Māori Nurses), with Ara Poutama Aotearoa as the platinum sponsor.
“This annual hui is about strengthening Māori presence in the nursing sector and supporting Māori tauira (students),” says Lianne Kohere, Workforce Lead Hikitia Project (formerly the Waikeria Mental Health and Addiction Service).
“The hui provides an environment that strengthens Māori identity by embracing the tikanga and values that are unique to Māori.”
Guest speakers comprised an impressive and inspirational line-up, including Ministry of Health Chief Nurse Lorraine Hetaraka, Te Rūnanga o Kirikiriroa CEO Mere Balzer, and our very own Lower North Regional Operations Director Health Ngaruna Kapinga and Christchurch Men’s Prison Registered Nurse Isla Taunoa.
“Ngaruna and Isla did an amazing job with the presentation, they complemented each other really well. Ngaruna gave a strategic overview by telling the story of Hōkai Rangi and how it is enabling positive change for the people in our care. She then handed over to Isla who gave a captivating account of a day in the life of a prison nurse,” says Lianne.
“At the end of the presentation we had so many people come up and talk to us, wanting to know more – it was great.”
The sponsorship package also included an exhibition space to promote the various roles within Ara Poutama Aotearoa.
“Conference attendees were able to leave their details with us if they were interested in any of our career opportunities. We received 25 expressions of interest to follow up on.”
Through her work in previous health sector roles, Lianne has cemented a long-standing relationship with Te Kaunihera o Ngā Neehi Māori o Aotearoa. The aim is for Ara Poutama Aotearoa to now build on this relationship and strengthen ties with the council.
“Being involved in the hui is just the start of forming a partnership with Te Kaunihera o Ngā Neehi Māori o Aotearoa. They want to work with us, support our Māori nurses and help us to attract more Māori nurses.”
“Our Māori nurses are not yet registered with the council, so they don’t get information about events and the professional development opportunities on offer. It also gives our Māori nurses a chance to contribute to the council’s vision of total health and wellbeing for Māori.”
Some feedback from hui participants:
“Te Ara Poutama Aotearoa ladies - keeping it real and entertaining!”
“My fave would be the Corrections nursing korero simply because my interest is in the mental health sector.”
“Te Ara Poutama Aotearoa - easily relatable, made me very interested in prison nursing.”
“I was really inspired by the nurses from Ara Poutama Aotearoa, Corrections talk.
Are you a interested in a career as a Nurse?
Nursing at Corrections provides opportunities to change lives through improving the health of vulnerable and often high health need people.
Nēhi are the health professionals those in prison see most regularly. They undertake screening and assessment activities, deliver health education, and provide primary health care and emergency interventions for acute and chronic mental and physical health conditions.
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