Māori have identified a ‘who’s who’ of Māori health leaders – including nurses Denise Wilson, Mere Belzer and Moe Milne – to help motivate the next generation of leaders.
The new website – 100 Māori Leaders – was launched by Te Rau Matatini this week as a contribution to building the capacity of the Māori health workforce.
Maria Baker, chief executive of Te Rau Matatini (the National Centre for Māori Health, Māori Workforce Development and Excellence) said Māori are under-represented amongst most professional groups who contribute to the health of New Zealanders. The new website was honouring successful leaders in those fields who hold significant leadership roles across a range of health services and sectors.
Amongst those featured are the three ‘shining stars’ Emeritus Professor Mason Durie, whose widespread work in medicine, Māori health and education includes the Māori health and wellness model Te Whare Tapa Wha; Dame Tariana Turia, instigator of the Whānau Ora policy; and the mental health leader and nurse Moe Caroline Milne.
Baker said Māori leadership can be defined in various ways. In the 100 Māori Leaders resource, she said, Māori have identified whom they see as leaders. Te Rau Matatini will continue to build the resource, with more leaders stories to be added in the future.
Others listed on the site include mental health advocate Mike King, child psychiatrist and researcher Dr Hinemoa Elder, and urban Māori activist Willie Jackson.
Baker said it was driven by the hope that with Government support and the health sector’s aspiration there will be an increase in the number of Māori in the health workforce and Māori health leaders.
“To build the number of Māori leaders, Māori must have access to Māori perspectives and experiences along their academic and career pathways, also their recruitment and retention into employed roles or chosen fields,” said Baker.
She said the site would profile the successes of Māori and provide glimpses of how Māori leaders are playing significant roles in their professional fields, whānau, hapū, iwi and communities. “As a tool for aspiration, acknowledgement, and inspiration, the online resource tells of the successes of Māori leadership and excellence,” said Baker.
“We hope that 100 Māori Leaders will inform the successes by Māori, and in doing so raise potential and the positive motivators to advance both the current and future Māori health workforce. Mauri ora!”
Nurses listed on the site include Moe Milne, former Te Kaunihera o ngā Neehi Māori president Mere Belzer, Dr Heather Gifford, Professor Denise Wilson, Mere Hammond, Ronald Baker and Ngaropi Cameron. Medical practitioners include psychiatrists Dr Diana Rangihuna-Kopua (a former psychiatric nurse), Dr Sylvia van Altvorst and Dr Hinemoa Elder. Amongst the researchers are Dr Lynne Russell, Dr Jordan Waiti, Dr Kahu McClintock (also a former psychiatric nurse), Dr Melanie Cheung, Kataraina Pipi and Dr Tess Moeke-Maxwell.