Te Ao Māramatanga Māori Caucus - Sixth Biennial Wānanga

Handover | Issue 42 - July 2018

Chrissy Kake, Wānanga Committee member reviews the Te Ao Māramatanga-New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses, Māori Caucus 6th Biennial Wānanga held at Maraeroa Marae, from 7 to 9 March 2018. 

Ehara taku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini

My strength is not that of a single warrior, but that of many

The theme 'What the future holds for Māori Mental Health Nursing' was discussed, debated, celebrated and reflected upon at the Te Ao Māramatanga-New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses, Māori Caucus 6th Biennial Wānanga held at Maraeroa Marae, from 7 to 9 March 2018. The organising committee looked beyond the confines of a western nursing paradigm to seek the wisdom - What makes Māori nurses unique through the lens of Te Ao Māori? Being visionary, challenging the status quo and effecting change that improves the wellbeing of Māori was captured in the esteemed voices of the keynote speakers and presenters. 

The three-day wānanga included keynote speakers and presenters who shared their expertise and provided thoughts for the future of Māori mental health nursing. Contributions by the keynote speakers included topics covering:

  • Māori workforce development, Manatū Hauora, Ramai Lord and Jane Bodkin 
  • Te tirohanga nui a Niwareka - The vision through the eyes of Niwareka, Dr Diana Rangihuna-Kopua and Mark Kopua 
  • Nga ringa hurihanga nei te ao - Changing the world, Maria Baker 
  • Healing the past to heal the future - Trauma, peace and the treaty, Dr Moana Jackson. 

Guest presenters also shared their expertise in mental health and addiction from rangatahi, the health profession and health consumer backgrounds.

A memorandum of understanding was signed (see photo on page 2) between Te Rau Matatini and Te Ao Māramatanga-NZCMHN Māori Caucus, which seeks to formalise and strengthen the collaborative relationship between both organisations. The Oral History Project of Māori mental health nurses - Tuia Te Ao Mārama www.maorinursinghistory.com is one collaborative approach in which both organisations will move forward to promote Māori mental health nursing.

The pursuit of excellence in the nursing profession among Māori is vital to recognise and ensure the art of nursing is effective, efficient and focused upon whānau ora. Te Ao Māramatanga-NZCMHN Māori Caucus bestowed honouree Tohu to Whetū Kanapa, acknowledging their career-long nursing contributions in the area of Māori mental health nursing.

Whetū Kanapa, brilliant and gleaming stars, personifies Māreikura and Whatukura. They are living aspirations for all.

On the evening of day two of the wānanga, acknowledgements were made for outstanding contribution to clinical practice, education, research and professional leadership in the profession of mental health nursing. Areta Koopu, Nora Kofler, Simon Phillips, Wikepa Keelan and Nicola Ehau were the five Māori recipients awarded Whetū Kanapa. The evening was celebrated with esteemed guests, whānau and Māori Caucus members. Chas McCarthy was the master of ceremony providing personal experience of working with the recipients. 

At the Māori Caucus hui on the last day of the wānanga, Chrissy Kake no Ngapuhi, Te Arawa, Te Whakatohea, Taranaki was voted in and welcomed as the new Kaiwhakahaere. New appointments of secretary - Menetta Te Aonui no Ngati Kahungunu and Treasurer - Raeleen Toia no Ngati Kahungunu were also made. Chrissy has a lot of energy to move forward with the Māori Caucus and college, working alongside the college’s president, Suzette Poole, to increase the membership of the college, create innovative pathways for mental health nurses in education and promote cultural and clinical excellence in mental health and addiction nursing practice. 

The Māori Caucus gives thanks and appreciation to everyone who contributed to the running of this successful wānanga. The organising wānanga committee, Māori Caucus and the college president. The caterers, technician, kapa haka roopu and sponsors. The keynotes, presenters and attendees. Lastly to Maraeroa Marae committee and kaumatua for providing the venue and keeping the home fires burning - he ahi kaa. 

Tish Siaosi has been the Kaiwhakahaere for the past six years, and Katrina Wahanui has served the same time as secretary for the Māori Caucus. Thank you both for navigating the waka and leading the way for Māori mental health nursing. 

Ngā mihi mahana ki a korua 

Chrissy Kake