Matariki in parliament.
(Rites, ceremonies and celebrations)
Nurses (Political activity)
Medical societies (Rites, ceremonies and celebrations)
Medical societies (Political activity)
|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: July, 2011 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 6|
|Topic:||Event Code: 290 Public affairs|
|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; New Zealand Nurses Organisation|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand|
NZNO's celebration of Matariki last month took place in Parliament's Grand Hall, an event marked by speech making, inspired singing, great food and conviviality among the 135 guests. The venue was chosen in recognition of the general election in November, and NZNO's call for nurses and health workers to support policies and parties that aimed to improve the health of disadvantaged populations.
The evening was hosted by Maori Party co-leader, Minister for Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia. Guests included MPs from most political parties, Nursing Council, Ministry of Health and NZNO staff, members of Te Runanga o Aotearoa NZNO, NZNO president Nano Tunnicliff, and a number of nursing leaders. A special guest was Whaea Vera Morgan, now g4, Who has attended every NZNO matariki celebration since they began in 2004.
In her address, Te Runanga kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku defined Matariki as "a time of growth, a time of change, a time to prepare, and a time of action, a time to acknowledge and reflect, a time to share our ideas and dreams for the future, and plan ways of achieving them"
The theme chosen for Matariki this year--Closing the Gap: Increasing access and equity--echoed the International Nurses' Day theme. Nuku said it was an appropriate time to look at collaborative ways to work together to achieve health equity in Aotearoa New Zealand.
"We need to fight for universal access to health care right from the start, good housing, healthy food options, quality education, decent work and fair pay, protection from the consequences of injury and disease, and healthy, safe environments. Tackling the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources means putting health and health equity at the heart of all government policy and planning decisions, to create a socially inclusive framework for policy making."
Keys to achieving health equity, she said, were universal access to primary health care; ensuring health workers shared the same pay and conditions; and raising the minimum wage so all had a living wage. In addition, NZNO sought mandatory safe staffing levels in aged care, nursing-entry-to-practice programmes for every new graduate, smoking cessation programmes, especially for health professionals, and the repeal of the recent amendments to the Employment Relations Act and the Holidays Act.
"Tonight we are putting out a challenge to prioritise a healthy New Zealand, to make decisions that will only increase the health of New Zealanders and to be clear that a healthy New Zealand depends on more than a nurse or a doctor," Nuku said.
In his address, NZNO chief executive Geoff Annals acknowledged Matariki was a relatively new concept for him and many New Zealanders. "But for many Maori, Matariki has long-held significance as an ancient celebration of seasonal sacrament. It marked the beginning of the New Year, it heralded the bounty of coming crops and it was a time of reflection and remembering.
Promise of partnership
Calling for a time of silence for people to reflect on significant things that had happened during the past year, Annals concluded his speech with a blessing: "Ha te wheturongi o Matariki e tiaki mai, e manaaki maii a koe, I a koutou ranei, mote tau e taka mai ana--May the gentle light of Matadki guide and inspire you all this year."
Turia congratulated NZNO and Te Runanga for grasping the uniquely indigenous opportunity of Matariki to review progress on organisational aims and objectives. Matariki, she said, offered a unique opportunity to focus on the well-being of whanau, and the resolve to create a better future for the generations to come.
"Nurses have a vital role in championing the cause of health equity--in shining a light on the significance of social determinants of health, and in demonstrating how understanding the barriers that exist is fundamental to adding quality to the outcome of care."
To improve health access and equity, there needed to be a focus on health activism and specifically Whanau Ora, she said. Whanau was one of the most effective strategies for improving health outcomes and Whanau Ora was an approach driven by the needs of whanau.
"As nurses, working alongside other health professional colleagues, you can contribute to Whanau Ora by respecting and relating to whanau as the central means for taking control and determining the health and well-being of its members. That is probably the most significant difference--that whanau are empowered as a whole, rather than separately with individual members."
Turia hoped Matariki would provide nurses with a ripe environment for health activism to flourish, and for cultural competency to be expressed, in every aspect of life, and the lives of whanau nurses lived and worked with.
The three addresses were interspersed by powerful singing, skillfully led by master of ceremonies and Te Runanga tumu whakarae Keelan Ransfield. Before the meal, three members of a health panel discussed aspects of their work: Hamilton Coroner Gordon Matenga described how effective investigations of an unexpected death could bring health and healing to grieving families; researcher and artist Elizabeth Kerekere spoke "on behalf of those who have difficulty speaking for themselves"--takatapui and queer youth; and Otago University research fellow Helen Viggets discussed the links between poorly heated homes and ill health, describing housing quality as an equity issue.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|