The 2019 Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards, jointly awarded by PHARMAC and Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa/New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and presented in August will both celebrate and support Māori nurses to continue in their studies and improve their clinical practice.
This is the second year of the annual Awards that recognise the positive impact Māori nurses have on whānau and the role they play as key influencers on health outcomes.Both PHARMAC and Te Rūnanga want to advance the Māori nursing workforce and strengthen their relationships with Māori health professional groups. PHARMAC has a strategic goal of eliminating the inequities in access to medicines that mean Māori are not getting the same benefits from funded medicines as other New Zealanders.
The Awards are in two categories, with the winners in each receiving a share of $10,000. Winners are selected by a joint PHARMAC – Te Rūnanga panel.
The first Award category, Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Prescriber, acknowledges and supports nurses who are working towards qualifying as a nurse prescriber. The second, Mātauranga Māori, is open to nurses (enrolled and registered) and tauira who wish to further their study and/or would like to develop an innovative way to assist whānau, hapū and iwi to access and understand their medicines.
PHARMAC’s Director of Engagement and Implementation Alison Hill says, “PHARMAC recognises that Māori nurses and nurse prescribers can make a huge difference to the health of people in their communities. We know a strong Māori workforce is one of the keys to eliminating inequities in medicines access for Māori.
“The Awards are a way to offer tautoko and manaaki (support and respect) to an incredible, hard-working and sometimes unrecognised workforce. The skills, training, expertise and example of the Māori nurse are fundamental to improving the wellbeing of whānau and communities. We want to acknowledge, encourage and celebrate that.”
Te Rūnanga Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says the Awards are also a way to encourage Māori nurses to take the next step to advance their clinical practice.
“Māori nurses work with, and often come from, the more deprived communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. This means they are uniquely placed to help whānau, hapū and iwi better access and understand their medicines.
“Through these Awards we acknowledge that uniqueness and hope to encourage Māori nurses to become even more clinically and culturally competent.”
The 2019 Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards will be presented at this year’s Indigenous Nurses Aotearoa Conference in Auckland, 9-10 August. Applications/nominations for the Awards close 19 July 2019. Information about applying and nominating can be found on the NZNO website.