Te Rūnanga o Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (NZNO) is urging Māori nurses to throw their hats into the ring for the sixth annual Pharmac Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards.
The awards are sponsored by Pharmac and were first held in 2018. They recognise the positive impact Māori nurses have on whānau and the role they play as key influencers on health outcomes.
Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says these awards have been created to support Māori nurses to continue their studies and develop their clinical practice.
"We need a health system that supports services run by Māori for Māori 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 who have limited access to health care."
Ms Nuku said some truly exceptional nurses and tauira have been recognised over the years through these awards, and she was confident this year would be no different.
"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 Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards are allocated in two categories. 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.
Te Pātaka Whaioranga Pharma’s Kaituruki Māori/director Trevor Simpson said they were honoured to be part of this initiative to celebrate and support the contributions and aspirations of Māori in the health sector.
"This is a partnership with Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa to build in strong and enduring Māori leadership within the critically important area of nursing.
"Related to this important kaupapa, the awards are a small but important gesture for the growth and development of our Māori nurses. In many ways this is an investment in the lives of our mokopuna, both now and into the future."
Submissions close on 16 June 2023. Nominations can be made on the NZNO website here.