Kaupapa supports future Māori student nurses

Kaupapa supports future Māori student nurses

Around 250 Māori nursing ākonga from across the motu gathered at Whakatū Marae in Te Tauihu recently to tautoko (support) one another and celebrate Māori nursing education.
Nehi Maori 2 Column Portrait
Kaiako Amber Ford and Kaimanaaki Sue Stephens with the Nēhi Māori (Māori student nurses) from NMIT Te Pūkenga at the recent Hui a Tau – The National Māori Student Nurses Hui.

The annual Hui a Tau – The National Māori Student Nurses Hui (NMSNH) hosted by Te Kaunihera o Nga Neehi Maori o Aotearoa (The National Council of Māori Nurses) also gave twelve NMIT Te Pūkenga Nēhi Māori (Māori student nurses) the opportunity to whanaungatanga (connect) with other Māori nurses.

Amber Ford, a facilitator with the planning committee, and kaiako on the nursing programme, alongside Kaimanaaki (Student Support Advisor) Sue Stephens, supported the ākonga to prepare and participate in the hui.

Over the four-day hui ākonga heard from experienced guest speakers, were immersed in te reo, sang many waiata, connected with iwi and were inspired by their culture.

“It was a privilege to be a part of such an amazing kaupapa and also to see my students grow in te Ao and settle in their Māoridom,” says Amber.

During the hui each kuratini (School of Nursing) delivered a presentation on the kaupapa (theme) for this year’s hui: Waerea te Ara, Whakamua (Clearing the way towards total health and wellbeing moving forward).

Amber says they were all nervous, but they did a lot of preparation.

“They were amazing, and I am so proud of the kōrero they presented to the group. They really transformed over the week as they became aware of their own whakapapa and created a connection with their culture.”

“During the hui they were encouraged to put their Māori experience at the heart of their nursing and to be mindful of inequities and barriers in health, especially for those that are marginalised.”

“Tikanga doesn’t always fit into the Western health model, and at the hui we acknowledged that tikanga is just as important as clinical skills.”

When she was a student, Amber also attended this hui and remembers how it felt.

“It was a gamechanger for me. I first found my love for te reo, although I knew nothing then. To understand te reo spoken on the marae is one of the biggest gifts my tīpuna have given to me, and I am grateful.”

She says she is encouraged by what the future holds for hauora Māori (Māori health) in the hands of the Nēhi Māori.

“To see their talent and determination was amazing. If you know any Māori Nēhi tauira, please tautoko them to attend the hui next year in Tamaki Makaurau.”

The Hui a Tau – NMSNH was last hosted at Whakatū Marae in 2013.

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