Health and science educators recognised for impact on Māori students

By Kimiora Kaire-Melbourne

Te Tupu-ā-Rangi Award for Health and Science is special recognition of outstanding initiatives and programmes created and implemented in a clinical or non-clinical context which positively contributes to the development and retention of a capable health workforce.

Dr Elana Taipapaki Curtis is a Māori health expert and is leading a raft of initiatives that have been credited with a record number of Māori and Pacific graduate doctors from the University of Auckland in 2016.

Dr Curtis is leading several research projects that focus on improving the teaching and learning environment to improve outcomes for Māori and Pacifica students. A number of key indicators of student engagement, performance and retention have been improved as a result of her leadership.

Professor Michael Walker’s was also named as a finalist for his pioneering work to reverse patterns of under-achievement among Māori and Pacific Island students. 

A leading biological scientist at the University of Auckland, Professor Walker is a rare breed of educationalist whose impact goes beyond the university campus, benefiting whānau and the community as a whole.

The unit is committed to significantly growing the Māori health workforce in New Zealand and the university expects at least this number of Māori doctors to graduate each year from now on.

The winner of this category will be announced tonight at the Matariki Awards, to be held at the Auckland Museum.