Auspicious start to symposium.
Subject: Maoris (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Maoris (Health aspects)
New Zealand culture (Influence)
Nursing associations (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Author: Pohatu, Roberta
Pub Date: 08/01/2011
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: August, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 7
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 266344853

Te Runanga o Aotearoa's symposium early last month started auspiciously under the korowai of aniwaniwa--a positive sign that preceded a wonderful day.

Our kaikaranga for the haukainga was our own Auntie Vera Morgan. At 94, Auntie Vera is a stalwart of Ngati Poneke ropu ki Pipitea marae, and a staunch advocate for mana wahine and ali Te Runanga members.

The theme of this year's symposium was 'Kotahitanga--working as one to increase participation, partnership and equity" and the 130 or so people there, including about 30 students from around the country, were treated to a wide range of inspiring speakers.

The day was hosted by Tamaki Makaurau. Their great team found the speakers, and provided the entertainment and humour to create an atmosphere of whanaungatanga.

Te Runanga kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku opened the day by exhorting us to listen to the korero with open minds and hearts, and take our learnings into our nursing practice.

A highlight of the day was the launch of NZNO's beautiful new kowhaiwhai design. This will be used in all future NZNO publications and documents. The kowhaiwhai was launched by kaumatua Richard Wallace, with support from te poari members, Kerri Nuku, NZNO chief executive Geoff Armais and president Nano Tunnicliff.

The kowhaiwhai represents NZNO members, staff, our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and our bicultural partnership. It reflects our pride in our organisation, its diversity, integrity and the spirit of our members, as well as our commitment to the nursing profession and our continued work to improve the health status of ali people of Aotearoa New Zealand. Approving this design has been a collective project between NZNO management and staff, Te Runanga tumu whakarae Keelan Ransfield and Samdog Communications.

Former Te Runanga kaiwhakahaere Sharon Morunga inspired us with her presentation on her master's research topic, "The barriers to Maori health workers identifying family violence for Maori women and their whanau". Although we are getting better at acknowledging family violence, we still have a long way to go, she said. Incidences of family violence are highest among Maori, with the rates among Maori women using women's refuges and emergency departments higher than any other ethnic group. Sharon's research showed the need for more services delivered by Maori for Maori, to improve Maori outcomes.

Maori educator Wally Penetito's korero "Telling our stories--Reclaiming our way of being" focused on ways to be Maori. He explained that our uniqueness sits between the concepts of individualism and collectivism. He spoke of the holistic connections between all things, and reminded us our whanau was at the heart of what defines our humanity.

Green Party MP Metiria Turei told us of her journey as a Maori woman and single mum, overcoming barriers to achieve. The Green Party's election pledge is to lift 100,000 children out of poverty within three years. Kids should be ar the heart of every government policy, she said.

Importance of kotahitanga

University of Auckland business school associate professor Manuka Henare's presentation was about "Tikanga kotahitanga, tikanga hau ora: the virtue of solidarity and well-being". He spoke about the effects Te Tiriti o Waitangi and colonisation have had on our people, and ways to create a better future for our mokopuna. Manuka believes kotahitanga means much more than unity, something more like solidarity. This broader definition complimented our organisation and profession better, he said. Ma te kotahitanga e whai kaha ai tatau. In solidarity, we have strength.

Te poari member Hemaima Hughes' passion for nursing fuels her mahi to strengthen the Maori health nursing workforce through education, recruitment and retention of Maori nursing students and nurses. She spoke of the inspiration she gains from her tipuna. She took us on a journey, from her turangawaewae down through the decades, telling a story of Maori health in Aotearoa. We heard about those great Maori leaders James Carroll, Apirana Ngata, Maui Pomare, Peter Buck and Te Akenehi Hei and their influences on health. We were both humbled and inspired by their stories.

One of the most heartfelt presentations was by Te Poari member Varina Flavell. She spoke of her own journey from addiction and pain to integrity and peace of mind. Her strength and resilience have led her along a momentous path, including a recent presentation at an international forum on addiction recovery in Sweden (see July issue, p38). Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui mana wahine. Be strong, be brave and be of stout heart, wahine Maori.

Overall, the symposium was amazing. What started with aniwaniwa in the sky, ended with aniwaniwa in our hearts. Many of us there affirmed, more strongly than before, a sense of pride in being Maori.

Te Aute College boys an AGH highlight

The Te Runanga annual general hui began with a relaxed session of whakawhanaungatanga. The highlight for many was the performance by a small ropu from Te Aute College who performed at the hakari on Saturday night.

We welcomed the new Te Runanga Tauira (TRT) chair Shannon Lake, a second-year nursing student from Manukau Institute of Technology who stood unopposed. First-year Waiariki Institute of Technology student Turuhira Thrupp won the election as vice chair, one of four fine candidates. Te Runanga farewelled outgoing TRT chair Katarina Teepa, vice chair Pirihira Puata and National Student Unit chair Matt Flutey, all of whom have done a wonderful job supporting Maori student nurses over the last year. Keelan Ransfield was affirmed as our tumu whakarae.

Bay of Plenty/Tairawhiti has accepted the whero to host next year's AGH at Pipitea Marae.

Report by te poari member from Midlands

Roberta Pohatu
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