Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu: How do wahine Māori nurses utilise mātauranga Māori as a means to address health equity in Te Tai Tokerau?
PHD Candidate: Coral Wiapo (Ngati Whātua)
Primary Supervisor(s): Dr Sue Adams
Work is underway in Te Tai Tokerau to strengthen the Māori nursing workforce by supporting kaimahi to enter the nursing profession; and registered nurses to advance their scope of practice to become nurse prescribers or nurse practitioners (NPs). Improving access to healthcare for Māori whānau through a culturally competent nursing workforce, in alignment with Te Tiriti o Waitangi underpins this work.
Just 7% of all nurses in Aotearoa are Māori, despite two decades of rhetoric to increase their numbers proportionate to the populations they serve. Further, within the health sector Māori nurses are often marginalised and experience racism and discrimination together with ongoing pay disparity.. Evidence from Aotearoa and overseas informs us that Indigenous knowledge practices are undervalued, yet when incorporated into healthcare delivery models this leads to improved health outcomes. With the formation of Te Aka Whai Ora (the new Māori Health Authority), there is an opportunity to work with Māori health and Iwi providers to strengthen the Māori nursing workforce and promote hauora.
The purpose of this research is to explore from the experiences and stories of wāhine Māori nēhi (nurses) how they use mātauranga Māori as they pursue equity for whānau, hāpori and iwi within Te Tai Tokerau.