Te Rūnanga Awards

  1. Te Akenehi Hei Memorial Award—Nominate now
  2. Te Pātaka Whaioranga (PHARMAC) Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards—Opening soon
  3. Te Rūnanga Regional Awards: Services to Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa Te Rūnanga--Open now

Te Akenehi Hei Memorial Award—Nominate a nurse now

Te Akenehi Hei Memorial Award for significant contribution to Māori Health is the highest honour that can be awarded by Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, New Zealand Nurses Organisation (Te Rūnanga). It is awarded every two years at the NZNO Annual General Meeting and Conference.

Te Akenehi Hei Memorial Award trophy

The Award was commissioned by Te Rūnanga in 2001 and is an NZNO award, under the kaitiaki of Te Rūnanga. This taonga was fashioned by two artists from Waiheke island, Paora Rangiuaia (Ngāti  Porou) and James Webster (Te Waka o Tainui) from three varieties of stone: pounamu, māpere (white marble) and uriuri (dark basalt) and is mounted on pōhutakawa timber.

Te Akenehi Hei Medallion

As a symbol of recognition to honour the recipient, each is presented with Te Akenehi Hei Medallion to acknowledge their ongoing contribution to Māori nursing, whānau, hapū and Iwi. Recipients also become a life member of Te Rūnanga.

Te Akenehi Hei Award medallion

The medallion is a representation of the Akenehi Hei Award, its tactile outer surface represents the māpere, the uriuri and pounamu.

Te Akenehi Hei award criteria

The kōmiti is required to determine the successful candidate’s suitability and 'significant contribution to Māori Health', based on the information provided and using the following criteria:

  • Rangatiratanga: Leadership role/positions influencing positive health and wellbeing outcomes for Māori - Whānau, hapū, iwi, urban Māori towards Whānau ora.
  • Whanaungatanga: Ability to connect with others and establish effective working caring relationships - whānau, hapū, Iwi, urban Māori - towards Whānau ora.
  • Kaitiakitanga: Provision of guidance, support, ability to empower and care for others i.e education, mentorship, engagement, whānau, hapū, Iwi, urban Māori - towards Whānau Ora.
  • Kotahitanga: Demonstrates ability to promote Unity and establish collaborative working relationships to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of Māori and others - whānau, hapū, Iwi, urban Māori - towards Whānau ora.

Nominations close on Sunday 30 June 2024

Te Pātaka Whaioranga (PHARMAC) Tapuhi Kaitiaki AwardsMāori nurses apply now

PHARMAC, in conjunction with Te Poari o Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa/New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO), established the Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards in recognition of the positive impact Māori nurses have on whānau and the role they play as key influencers on health outcomes. 

These awards have been created to support Māori nurses to continue their studies and develop their clinical practice. Each year the Tapuhi Kaitiaki recipients are announced at the Indigenous Nurses Aotearoa Conference.

Tapuhi Kaitiaki awards are offered in two categories.

Category One - Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Prescribing Award

This award acknowledges nurses who are on a professional development journey to become a nurse prescriber and supports them to advance their clinical practice and expertise.

Category Two - Māori Nurse Mātauranga Award

These awards are open to nurses (enrolled and registered) and tauira who wish to further their study and/or would like to develop an innovative way to assist whānau, hapū and iwi to access and understand their medicines.

Applications close at 4:30pm on Friday 5 July 2024

Te Rūnanga Regional Awards: Services to Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa Te RūnangaNominate a Māori nurse now

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata he tāngata he tāngata.

What is the most important thing in the world? it is people it is people it is people.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

As indigenous nursing professionals we are committed to reaffirming our rights under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Article 31 to self-determine, and this will underpin any future Māori nursing strategy. Just as our early Māori nursing pioneers like Te Akenehi Hei realised, we have nothing to fear when moving forward. Our tipuna made the sacrifice, we must ensure our future mokopuna, whānau, and hapū and iwi receive the best health care available in Aotearoa.

The tensions of being a nurse and being a Māori nurse has often been raised at Te Rūnanga Hui. The ability to work in two worlds has been long reflected in our bicultural heritage which has long documented the tensions between western ideologies and Māori models of wellbeing.

Te Poari know that Māori nurses add value and make a difference to the health and wellbeing for all people of Aotearoa, but we also recognise that achieving this sometimes comes with personal sacrifices and challenges.


These award presentations are in recognition of regional members who have supported members within their rohe by contributing to the development of:

  • Māori workforce development
  • Poipoia kua Puawai – tuakana teina support
  • Responsiveness to Māori members and whānau, hapū, Iwi initiatives.

Nominees should be able to demonstrate these qualities in their nursing practice.

How to nominate a Māori nurse

Send nominations to the Te Poari representative from the rohe with a brief profile of the candidate by 4pm on Friday 28 June 2024.

Awards will be presented at Indigenous Nurses Aotearoa Conference Hakari.

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