NZNO puts out call for Pasifika nurses at Southland Polyfest

August 30, 2022

“What could be better than our rangatahi meeting proud Māori and Pasifika nurses?” NZNO students reach out to Pasifika community

An NZNO stand supported by current nursing students at the Mīharo Murihiku (Southland) Polyfest over August 22-26 was a good way to try and attract more Pasifika and Māori into nursing, says organiser Gail Arthur (Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Tuwharetoa).

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“What could be better than our rangatahi meeting proud Māori and Pasifika nurses who can kōrero with them about all that nursing can offer in the culturally and spiritually uplifting experience that is Polyfest?”

“I think it was valuable to be able to give insight to what studying is like right now as a Māori wāhine and hopefully I was able to encourage others.”

Arthur said quite a few people stopped by the stall over the week and talked about nursing as an option for them or their young people.

Southern Institute of Technology student Rosey Holmes said she enjoyed sharing her experiences at Murihiku Polyfest. “I think it was valuable to be able to give insight to what studying is like right now as a Māori wāhine and hopefully I was able to encourage others,” she told Kaitiaki Nursing New Zealand. “It was also a good opportunity to meet other NZNO members and Māori nurses in the area.”

Arthur said it was an “excellent way to engage with the Southern region Māori and Pasifika community, by going directly to them”. It also raised NZNO’s profile and supported its Maranga Mai! campaign. One of the campaign’s five fixes was to work to increase the number of Māori and Pasifika nurses to meet the needs of tāngata, Arthur said.

It was also a chance to show off NZNO’s “beautiful Te Poari banner”, she said.

Information about caregiver, enrolled nurse and registered nurse training was available, along with NZNO merchandise.

Just three per cent of the nursing workforce identify as Pasifika, against a New Zealand population of seven per cent, according to Nursing Council data.

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