Kim Gosman, a retired nurse and health leader, who for decades has combined volunteer work with her professional career, was yesterday honoured as Health Volunteer of the Year.

Other health professional volunteers honoured included Dr Assil Russell, founder of the Revive a Smile dental charity, who won the Youth Health Volunteer Individual Award; Pacific Nurse Sonya Apa Temata, who won the Pacific Health Volunteer Individual award for her work both here and across the Pacific; Māori midwife Jean Te Huia, who was runner-up for Māori Health Volunteer Individual award for her work as voluntary CEO for Ngā Maia o Aotearoa Māori Midwives; and wound care nurse consultant Pam Mitchell, a longstanding member of the New Zealand Wound Care Society, who was a runner-up in the Long Service awards.

Gosman who was born in 1936 of Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa and Ngāti Tautahi descent, has been doing volunteer work since 1974.

Health Minister Dr David Clark said the judges were impressed by the depth and range of Gosman’s volunteering work over 44 years and the impact it has had on improving Māori health outcomes in particular.

“I would like to thank Kim for her contribution to the health and wellbeing of others. Her commitment at a strategic level and to training and mentoring new staff has enabled the expansion of frontline health services and improved health accessibility for Māori in the Lakes District Health Board region,” he said.

Gosman trained as a registered nurse in Wellington Hospital in the mid-1950s and later trained as a registered midwife and Plunket nurse. As a foundation tutor at Whitireia’s School of Nursing in the 1980s, she began undertaking papers in Māori Studies and learned te reo Māori. She also stepped up her volunteer work in firstly Porirua and later Turangi, where she was the inaugural managing director and chief executive of Tuwharetoa Health Services.

Her voluntary work has included maternity services, marae-based ear health clinics, and extended and improved development of a wide range of health services. She is described by Lakes District Health Board as being a champion of improving Māori health outcomes and reducing inequalities.

Clark presented the Minister of Health Volunteer Awards in Parliament yesterday to mark National Volunteer Week and congratulated all those recognised as outstanding achievers.

Health Care Provider Service Team Volunteers Awards

Winner – Servants Health Centre Volunteers, Dunedin

Runner-up – Waitemata District Health Board Volunteer Team

Runner-up – Nelson Hospital Buggy Service

Health Care Provider Service Individual Awards

Winner – Darren Best, Blenheim

Runner-up – Shubra Shrotriya, Auckland DHB

Runner-up – Trevor Anderson, Greenlane Clinical Centre, Auckland

Community or NGO Health Service Team Awards

Joint Winner – Te Aroha Community Transport Service

Joint winner – IHC Volunteering Programme

Community or NGO Health Service Individual Awards

Winner – Irene Pringle, Alzheimers Manawatu

Runner-up – Janice Sherborne, South Canterbury Stroke Club

Māori Health Volunteer Team Award

Winner – Ka Pai Kai Rotorua Charitable Trust

Māori Health Volunteer Individual Awards

Winner – Kim Gosman, Turangi

Runner-up – Mac Renata, Canterbury Respiratory Consumer Working Group

Runner-up – Jean Te Huia, volunteer CEO for Nga Maia o Aotearoa Māori Midwives.

Pacific Health Volunteer Team Award

Winner – Tangata Toa volunteers, Porirua

Pacific Health Volunteer Individual Awards

Winner – Sonya Apa Temata, Pacific nurse

Runner-up – Elisapeta Pivac, Auckland

Runner-up – Asenati Rowell, Waikato

Youth Health Volunteer Team Award

Winner – Youth Advisory Group, Skylight Trust

Youth Health Volunteer Individual Awards

Winner – Dr Assil Russell, Revive a Smile dental charity

Runner-up – Samuel Wat, Recreate New Zealand

Runner-up – Amelia King, Recreate New Zealand

Long Service Awards

Winner – Marjorie White, Friends of Darfield Hospital

Runner-up – Kevin Sweeney, driver for Midlands mobile breast screening unit

Runner-up – Pam Mitchell, wound care nurse consultant and member of NZ Wound Care Society

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  1. It is indeed admirable if individual nurses or people spot a specific need in our country and work to change things. This must not, however, develop into discrimination or special treatment for any one race, gender or religion. A couple of weeks ago I had occasion to spend a few minutes in the waiting area of an Accident and Emergency branch of a hospital. On their TV screen a rolling line of various news reports kept us occupied. Here this particular DHB proudly advertised that “if you were Maori there was a special team on hand to cater for your cultural needs if you wished – just ask for it at a triage booth” I resent this – it is blatantly racial and, of course, wholly unnecessary. Perhaps 200 years ago when Maori were all stone age culture this might have been a sensible proviso – but 8 generations of intermarrying, working together in modern cities and being wholly mono-lingual now makes this a wrong initiative. We are one country, one people – and we all have exactly the same health requirements.


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