New Zealand Nurses Organisation media release, 21 September 2021.
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) is proud to announce that its Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku has received the highly prestigious Human Rights and Nursing Award given by the International Care Ethics Observatory at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom.
The award was presented earlier this month at the International Nursing Ethics Conference hosted by Exeter University. Ms Nuku received the award alongside Suman Shrestha a consultant nurse at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust who has been instrumental in advancing critical care and infection control in Nepal.
Ms Nuku was selected for her tireless advocacy, including through forums like the United Nations and the Waitangi Tribunal, to bring about equity and justice for Māori nurses and Māori communities.
In response to receiving the award, she said she feels honoured to be acknowledged internationally for what she has done as a Māori nurse.
"As nurses and health care workers we see first-hand the gross and ongoing injustices of colonisation. As Māori nurses, we also experience that discrimination and injustice. We have learned to live in contradiction while we work for social justice and the health and wellbeing of Māori.
"This award recognises that to continue this work we can and must be proud of who we are and know that as we honour our ancestors we are guided toward a better world."
Professor Ann Gallagher, head of nursing at Exeter University and editor-in-chief of Nursing Ethics, praised both recipients as "excellent role models for student nurses and care-givers globally [who] show us what can be achieved when nurses are committed to human rights," she said.
Media inquiries: Rob Zorn, NZNO Media and Communications Advisor: 027 431 2617.