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NZNO Rūnanga and PHARMAC to recognise Māori nurses in fourth Tapuhi Kaitiaki awards

Te Rūnanga o Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa and PHARMAC – Te Pātaka Whaioranga are proud to open submissions for the fourth annual PHARMAC Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards. The Awards, which were first held in 2018, acknowledge the key role Māori nurses play in influencing health outcomes for whānau.

“Some truly exceptional nurses and tauira have been recognised over the past four years through these awards, and I know this year will be no different,” says PHARMAC’s Chief Advisor Māori Trevor Simpson (Tuhoe, Ngāti Awa).

The Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards are offered in two categories, each with a prize pool of $10,000. The first category for Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Prescriber recognises Māori nurses who are on a professional development journey to advance their clinical practice and expertise. The second category, Māori Nurse Mātauranga, supports nurses and tauira to further their study and/or develop an innovative way to help whānau, hapū and iwi to access and understand their medicines.

“They offer a financial contribution for Māori nurses to further their studies and clinical practise and can be used by nurses to help continue their incredible achievements and whānau commitment,” says Trevor.

Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says that Te Rūnanga are extremely proud of the support and investment PHARMAC is providing with the Tapuhi Kaitiaki scholarships. 

“We need a health system that supports services run by Māori for Māori in order to improve the health of our whānau, hapū and iwi. These awards are a crucial way to tautoko that aspiration, especially for our nurses who are studying to be nurse prescribers and nurse practitioners so they can serve their people where their medical access is limited.

“Māori nurses are not only dedicated professionals but great innovators. The Kaitiaki Awards provide a wonderful opportunity to showcase their day-to-day mahi for the betterment of their people, hei oranga motuhake mo ngā whānau, me ngā hapū, me ngā iwi katoa."

The awards are a great example of how PHARMAC is working across the health system to strengthen relationships with Māori health professional groups and uphold the articles of Te Tiriti across all its work.

“We are honoured to be part of this initiative to celebrate and support the incredible contributions and aspirations of Māori in the health sector.” 

Submissions close 1 July 2021. To make a submission visit the NZNO website and go to Awards. 


If you would like to talk with Trevor Simpson, please contact PHARMAC’s senior communications advisor Jane Wright via or 021863342. If you would like to talk with Kerri Nuku please contact

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