Honouring our leaders.
Subject: Nurses (Achievements and awards)
Medical societies (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Pub Date: 10/01/2010
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Oct, 2010 Source Volume: 16 Source Issue: 9
Product: Product Code: 8043100 Nurses; 8622000 Medical Associations NAICS Code: 621399 Offices of All Other Miscellaneous Health Practitioners; 81392 Professional Organizations SIC Code: 8621 Professional organizations
Organization: Organization: New Zealand Nurses Organisation
Geographic: Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand
Accession Number: 241179357
Full Text: Former NZNO president Marion Guy and long-time Maori health activist and academic 3anice Wenn were the recipients of NZNO's top honours at this year's conference. Guy received the Award of Honour for her major contribution to the profession nationally and internationally, and Wenn received Te Runanga o Aotearoa NZNO's Te Akenehi Hei Memorial Award for her significant contribution to Maori health.

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Guy, a long-time practice nurse and emergency department (ED) nurse at Tauranga Hospital, served as NZNO's president for two terms, from 2003 to 2009, is currently a member of the Bay of Plenty District Health Board and the National Health Board. She is also a member of the board of the International Council of Nurses.

Before her assuming the presidency of NZNO, Guy was chair of the organisation's practice nurses' college and was instrumental in developing important relationships with the New Zealand College of GPs. She also promoted the idea of a united body for nurses working in the community, a vision which culminated in the formation of NZNO's College of Primary Health Care Nurses this year.

In this year's New Year's Honours' list, Guy was awarded the Queen's Service Order for her contribution to nursing.

Wenn, of Ngati Kahuhgungu ki Wairarapa, Ngati Moe and Ngati Hinewaka descent, had a long career in nursing, nursing management, cultural safety and Maori Maori. Her career has moved between academia, clinical practice and health administration and she has had an ongoing commitment to health services "by Maori for Maori". She worked closely with Irihapeti Ramsden and other Maori nurses promoting and practising cultural safety.

Alongside her brother, prison reform activist Kim Workman, she devised a health plan for Maori in the Wairarapa which included health provider Whaiora Whanui Maori, which is still providing community-based health.

At 74, she was awarded her PhD, which focused on identifying the core values underpinning Maori health. Much of the research was completed by talking with kaumatua and kuia. She continues to work 20 hours a week at Massey University as a senior research fellow.

Accepting her award, Guy said she was overcome. She paid tribute to her husband Murray, who was at the presentation, and said without his support she could not have held the president's role. Guy said her daughter Nicky, an ED nurse, who was also at the award presentation, was "one of the under 30s we have to nurture".

She dedicated her award to her father who died recently and who was always very supportive of her. Guy thanked NZNO's members, particularly those from the Bay of Plenty and the former College of Practice Nurses, and NZNO staff, for their support.

"The NZNO presidency was a wonderful opportunity, I've grabbed opportunities I've been offered with both hands and I've changed from standing in the back row saying nothing to being able to speak on your behalf. The opportunity to be president changed my life," she told delegates.

Accepting her honour, Wenn said a lot rested on her shoulders. "Spending a minute reminiscing", she outlined her nursing journey, which began in 1948 when she started work as a hospital aid at Greytown Hospital in her school holidays. She did her nursing training at New Plymouth at a time when there were very few Maori nurses. "Investigating history, I discovered that matrons and chief nurses at that time decided on how many Maori nurses they would have in each school of nursing and that continued up to the '60s," she said.

Wenn recalled when she was chief nurse, she turned up to a chief nurses' meeting in a slack suit--"a very smart slack suit"--and she was the only one without a hat. "It was a whole different environment and I had to learn."

Referring to how Akenehi Hei became a registered nurse (RN), Wenn said Maori girls interested in nursing were placed in a hospital as a hospital aid. If they were bright they stayed and did a year's training and were then sent back home to care for their own people. "Akenehi Hei worked as a hospital aid at Napier Hospital. She was very bright and they wanted to keep her on and that's how she became an RN.

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"I am really honoured to be standing here when I think of all the trials and tribulations the forerunners of Maori nursing had to contend with. I say to Maori nurses--keep on keeping on."

Wenn referred to the development of cultural competency, which was now internationally recognised. "It is something to base our practice on and to believe in. To nurses who are Maori in the workforce, please mentor the young people. They really need you and you can be really good role models for them."
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