First students of new Māori nursing degree to graduate

By Jessica Tyson

The first students to study a re-developed Māori nursing degree, Bachelor of Health Science Māori Nursing at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, will graduate this weekend in Whakatāne.

Associate Professor Deborah Rowe from the wānanga says “only seven per cent of nurses in the workforce are Māori and this first output of graduates will go some way to addressing this disparity.”

"Our graduates are able to work effectively and successfully with Māori and other cultures to improve health outcomes. It's a model the whole country could benefit from."

Also graduating will be the first students from the School of Iwi Development's re-developed Te Pou Hono marae-based programmes that teach skills for cultural, social and economic development in marae communities.

A total of 200 graduands will receive their degrees and certificates at a ceremony on Friday and overall almost 3,000 students from the wānanga will graduate this year.

Chief executive Professor Wiremu Doherty says the knowledge and expertise learnt by the students “must now be put to work not only for themselves and their whānau, but also for the good of all our people and of society at large.”

The graduation will begin at 8am with a pōwhiri at Te Mānuka Tūtahi Marae, followed a hīkoi along The Strand.

The hikoi has become a highlight of the day's events, with hundreds of well-wishers lining the street to perform haka and cheer on the parade of students.