NZNO kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku said the conference, with the theme “heed the call of the maunga”, captured the ideas of Ākenehi Hei, inspirational Māori nurse, midwife and leader from the early 20th century.
“Which was be proud of who you are, and remember the maunga that surrounds you, remember the tupuna that are there.”
She said with the many changes to the health system, it was easy for nurses to “get caught off our feet”.
“This is about always looking to the mountains, giving you stability, strength and resilience.”
The conference would include empowering speakers who would help audience members with the tools and personal belief “to achieve what they want to achieve”.
“And while there might be different things that pop up – keep looking to the maunga and that will steer you in the right direction. A lot of our speakers are [speaking] around that.”
She said speakers included the likes of Dr Rawiri Taonui, addressing the issue of racism. “We’ve got some powerful speakers, and we’re also hoping to connect with the Canadian Nurses’ Federation, who I spoke to last week in their leadership seminar.”
Nuku said the First Nation people in Canada were going through their own “real pain” after the recent discovery of hundreds of graves in Catholic schools for indigenous children.
The conference runs August 13-14, with the hui ā-tau on August 15.