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Scholarships aim to encourage more Māori into nursing

Waikato-Tainui people aiming for a career in nursing or midwifery will have the opportunity to become recipients of 10 scholarships at Wintec in 2017 which aim to encourage more Māori into health careers.

The scholarships mark the tenth year of the Dame Te Ātairangikaahu Nursing Scholarship, set up in recognition of Te Arikinui Dame Te Ātairangikaahu’s great leadership and care for the welfare of her people. Since 2009, 14 people have received the scholarship and King Tūheitia remains just as committed and supportive of the scholarship today, as he did at the time it was created. An important aspect of that support from King Tūheitia, is his firm belief that more Māori are needed in this field of work.

Wintec Director Māori, Hera White says the scholarships are an outstanding opportunity for Waikato-Tainui people considering a career in health and support the need for more Māori working in the sector.

“Health is an area in which Māori are under-represented, and the Dame Te Ātairangikaahu Nursing Scholarship is a step towards increasing the number of qualified Māori nurses and midwives working within the Waikato region.

“Although the proportion of Māori living in the Waikato is 23 per cent, Māori nurses make up only eight per cent of the nursing workforce in our region. A further 604 Māori nurses are required to ensure the nursing workforce and Waikato DHB district population demographics are aligned.”

The three-year full training scholarships have been made possible with the support of the Kiingitanga, Wintec, Māori health providers and community groups. Each scholarship supports one student per year to receive a maximum of $6,000 towards the cost of tuition for a period of three years, a total of around $18,000 per scholarship.

Waikato-Tainui students enrolled in full-time study at any level, in one of the following Wintec qualifications: Diploma of Enrolled Nursing, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Midwifery, Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing and Master of Nursing are eligible to apply.

The Office of the Kiingitanga worked closely with a number of significant organisations and individuals who all confirmed a strong interest and commitment to providing the funding for the scholarships as a way of expressing their continued support for King Tūheitia, the Kiingitanga and the need to bring more Māori into the health sector.

Each of the contributors brings their unique characteristics to this scholarship in the form of their close connections and work they do with King Tūheitia, the people of Waikato-Tainui and the Kiingitanga. One of those organisations is the Te Kohanga Reo National Trust, whose core purpose is to teach te reo Māori to children. Their support for a full three-year scholarship adds a unique element to the kaupapa as it aims to bring the reo and tikanga to the curriculum. The name of this scholarship recognises and acknowledges the late Mrs Oraiti Coulcott for her work in the Kohanga Reo movement and her commitment to young Māori.

Other funders of the scholarship include King Tūheitia, the Office of the Kiingitanga, Tūrangawaewae Marae, Staples Rodway Chartered Accountants of Hamilton, Mr Peter Rogers, a committed educator and businessman, Te Arataura (Waikato-Tainui Tribal Executive), Ngāti Hauā and Wintec.

Applications close 3pm, Monday 13 March 2017. To find out more visit: wintec.ac.nz/scholarships