Ivy Tauhinu began working at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland in 1969 and 50 years on the beloved orderly is still on staff. Counties Manukau DHB felt it was a milestone worth marking.
Tauhinu was born and bred in Kaikohe where she was the 10th child in her family of 17.
She has seen numerous changes, including a stronger security presence at the hospital and continuous improvements being made in mental health care, but mostly in how far tikanga Māori has come within hospital protocols.
Counties Manukau Health employs 116 orderlies and more than 30 staff have served under the health authority for 40 years or over.
"I love the patients I meet," says Tauhinu, "When you talk to the patients you learn a lot...the elderly patients, that's what brings me to work a lot, and of course to pay the bills. People say I'm amazing and I'm an icon. We all have our little goods in us don't we?
Source: Māori Television
"I just can't believe this is happening, I didn't think I'd be noticed. I've seen our Māori culture improve a lot here over the years, it wasn't expected...I'm very happy for that."
Emergency Department (ED) nurse at Middlemore Hospital, Sandra Neva says, "When I first came here I was the only Māori nurse in ED, so to see Ivy you felt connected, a connection with another Māori face."
ED Physician Dr Mark Rewi says, "It means a lot to have Ivy on our team, she's a beautiful team member, she brings a beautiful āhua to our work environment."
Tauhinu recently celebrated her 70th birthday and says she will retire at the end of this year.