New Tapuhi Kaitiaki awards support the development of Māori nurses

Media release

PHARMAC and Te Pōari o Te Rūnanga o Āotearoa and their Tiriti partner Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Āotearoa (NZNO) are pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of the Tapuhi Katiaki Awards. 

The Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards, held at the Indigenous Nurses conference on 11 August 2018, acknowledge the huge value that Māori nurses add to the health professional workforce. The awards recognise Māori nurses who are furthering their studies, clinical practice and professional development while continuing to support the wellbeing of whānau, hapū and iwi.

“Māori nurses play a unique role in the health sector in that they are both clinically and culturally competent health professionals,” says Kerri Nuku, Kaiwhakahaere, Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, NZNO.

Alison Hill, Director of Engagement and Implementation at PHARMAC, says that one of PHARMAC’s goals is to eliminate inequities in access to medicines by 2025, and improving Māori health outcomes is a key area of focus.

“Māori health professionals have a pivotal role in helping Māori understand and access the medicines they need,” says Ms Hill.

“We were really pleased with the quality of the applications, which painted a vivid picture of the deep understanding and strong commitment these nurses have to serving their communities through their profession.

“I was impressed to see how much these nurses fit into their daily lives, juggling their studies, tamariki, home and professional lives.

“We’ve enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Te Rūnanga, and we want to continue to support the development of Māori nurses.

“I was honoured to present the awards to the nine recipients and to learn more about the journey each of them is on. They have each demonstrated strong connections and dedication to their whakapapa and community, while continuing to strive towards excellence in their studies or professional practice.”

Recipients of the 2018 Tapuhi Kaitiaki awards each received $2000 to $2500.

Background information - full list of award winners

Name Iwi Details
Pauline Brennan Ngāti Kahungunu Pauline is an experienced nurse and has recently completed her Nursing Council interview for Nurse Practitioner in Wellington. Her recent nursing practitioner application drew on how a ‘Simple Act of Awhi’ supported a client at the sudden death of a whānau member.
Awhina Dixon

Ngāti Kahungunu


Ngāti Wairere

Te Atihau-nui-ā-pāpārangi

Awhina is in her second year of Bachelor of Nursing at Eastern Institute of Technology and cannot wait to practice as a Māori nurse.

Awhina says: “At my graduation, I will wear a Korowai or Kākahu rather than a red cape, wearing a Kākahu is a representation and my connection to the past and to the present.”

Kelly McDonald

Ngāti Tukorehe

Ngāti Raukawa

Ngāti Kuia

Ngāti Rangitane ki Wairau

Kelly is on a pathway to becoming a Nurse Prescriber. Kelly is enrolled at Massey University Manawatu and studying her first paper in Physiology and Pathophysiology.

Kelly says: “I have always wanted to be a Māori nurse working within and for her whānau, hapū and iwi”.

Ani Tomoana Ngāti Kahungunu

Ani is on a journey to become a Māori Nurse Practitioner, with study starting in 2019. Strong links to whānau, hapū and iwi working as a community nurse.

Ani says: “In the future I would like to offer clinics in the community to benefit Māori patients and whānau.”

Maria Briggs

Ngāi Tahu

Ngāti Whātua

Maria is a new graduate nurse having completed her Bachelor of Nursing in 2017. She would like to study for her Masters in Nursing degree in 2019. 

Maria says: “He Māori āhau, He Tapuhi Māori āhau,” - “I am Māori, I am a Māori nurse. I stand strong in my knowledge, I draw strength in connection and I believe I have roles and responsibilities as governed by my whakapapa.”

Logan Murray Te Rarawa

Logan has been a registered nurse for 12 years. He is currently in his final year of a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Human Anatomy at the University of Otago. Logan plans to incorporate the skills and knowledge gained from this degree into his nursing career and beyond.

Logan says: “I strongly believe in role modelling and leading by example. I am always careful to ensure my attitudes, beliefs and practices exemplify what I expect from others in my workplace.”

Grace Manawatu

Ngai Tahu

Grace is in her second year of the Bachelor of nursing degree at Ara Polytech in Christchurch.

Grace says: “My dream is to be able to help my people by showing and providing the information needed and to try and show that Māori are not just a number in statistics.”

Margaret Hand Te Roroa

Margaret is a new Māori Nurse Practitioner working with a team of nurses, a GP and admin staff at Te Hau Awhiowhio o Otangerei. They offer a unique approach and are transforming care for whānau, hapu and iwi.

Margaret says: “My aim is to ensure tangata whaiora can make decisions for them with the right approach, rangatiratanga (empowerment)”

“Tangata whaiora whānau hauora manaakitanga”

Tiny Ranga




Te Aitanga ā Mohaki

Tiny has the goal of being a Nurse Prescriber within two years. Tiny is an Asthma and respiratory Nurse specialist at Kokiri Marae Hauora and Social Services.

Tiny says: “My passion is to help communities start unfunded initiatives like rangitahi suicide prevention noho and ‘whanau against P’.”