A dose of inspiration for future Māori nurses

A dose of inspiration for future Māori nurses

NMIT Māori student nurses are inspired at national conference

The conference was a chance to discuss their studies and career options and to network with students, teachers and practicing nurses.  

Sue Stephens, NMIT Kaimanaaki – Student Support Advisor, joined the group as their kaumātua at the conference, which was held at Ngā Kete Wānanga Marae at Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland. 

With a theme of Mā te Kotahitanga e whai kaha aī tatou - In Unity we have strength, Sue says the conference is one way of supporting the growth of our Māori Nursing workforce. 

“It enables those attending to be nurtured in an environment that strengthens their identity and to experience what it is to be Māori for Māori by Māori, she says.  

“Whakawhanaungatanga (relationship building) and whakapapa (genealogy) are integral to strengthening newfound connections and rekindling former connections with one another,” Sue says. “They are exposed to positive, inspirational speakers and Māori role models, helping them to feel inspired to achieve their own career heights.” 

A highlight for our NMIT ākonga was leading the neehi (nurses), kaiako (teachers) and kaiāwhina (advocates) onto the marae during the pōwhiri, to hand over a taonga to the hosts of this year’s event.  

This honour was given to the NMIT group as last year’s hosts; the 2023 conference was held at Whakatū Marae in Nelson. The taonga (treasure) is called ‘Te Mokopuna Ātaahua o Te Kaunihera’ and is the kaitiaki of the Te Kaunihera o Ngā Neehi Māori o Aotearoa – The National Council of Māori Nurses.  

“For many of our ākonga, this was the first time on a Marae, and it was a very spiritual experience,” says Sue. 

Sue feels the event provides our learners with an excellent opportunity to discuss their studies, career options, juggling life, and clinical experiences. 

“It’s also a time to connect and network with peers, kaiako, kaumātua and neehi Māori from throughout Aotearoa. They support one another, recognise they are not alone, strengthen each other, exchange ideas, reflect on individual journeys, share the highs and lows of their journeys and examine best practices through peer reviews and exemplars.” 

The 2023 conference was held at Whakatū Marae in Nelson(external link). Learn more about NMIT’s Nursing programme.

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