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Te Rau Puawai scholarship for nurse

Friday, December 19, 2008
Te Rau Puawai scholarship for nurse

Counties-Manukau District Health Board and Massey University have named mental health nurse Maitera Tutahi as the inaugural recipient of the Raniera (Barney) and Vera Kirkwood Te Rau Puawai Partnership Scholarship.

A ceremony was held at Whatapaka Marae in Karaka on Wednesday 10 December to celebrate the scholarship and the new partnership between the University and the district health board.

Ms Tutahi (Ngäi Te Rangi, Ngäti Toa Rangatira, Ngäi Tahu, Te Atiawa, Ngäti Ranginui, Tainui) was unaware she had won the scholarship until she arrived at the marae. “It was mind boggling at first, now I’m excited to have the opportunity to study again and meet new people.”

Ms Tutahi has been primary health coordinator since 2006 when she was employed by the board's Mäori Mental Health unit. Her work involves developing better understanding about Mäori mental health consumer needs with GPs and other health services in the region. She says she has been able to reconnect with her Tainui heritage since being in her role and has been supported culturally by Whaea Taui Thompson, who is also employed by Mäori Mental Health in the Taumata Kaumätua Team.

Te Rau Puawai co-ordinator Monica Koia says the scholarship was named after Mr and Mrs Kirkwood in recognition of the Mäori mental health work they did developing services and programmes in the Counties-Manukau region. Te Rau Puawai is the Mäori mental health scholarship programme within Massey’s Humanities and Social Sciences College located at the School of Mäori Studies (Te Pütahi-a-Toi) at the Manawatu campus.

“Through the scholarship programme recipients are supported to complete health-related qualifications at Massey. Ms Tutahi will enrol as an extramural student and begin her study next semester.”

Te Rau Puawai has seen over 200 students graduate in the past 10 years. The scholarship provides recipients with fees and some course-related costs, a mentor, assistance with study planning and skills and access to Mäori community and student networks.

ENDS

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