Growing Te Whaioranga
Our work to engage with and respond to the needs of Māori continues to evolve as we connect with Māori communities about important health issues.
A key focus this year has been engaging with communities to identify the health areas they consider most important - Hauora Arotahi, and working with our Whānau Ora Collective partners on initiatives to address these.
When we consider funding any medicine, our decision-making framework means we always include the potential benefits for Māori specifically.
But as we discuss in relation to our access equity work, making medicines available does not necessarily mean they will be used equally by all population groups.
We know that Māori are not currently accessing funded medicines at the same rate as others in New Zealand.
Working on ways to reverse this will be a crucial part of the wider work we’ve committed to undertaking to eliminate inequities in medicines access.
Te Whaioranga – supporting Māori health professionals
PHARMAC is committed to tackling the inequities that potentially see Māori miss out on around one million prescriptions for medicines each year.
“It’s important that our health system is responsive to the needs of Māori, and growing both the number and the skills of Māori health professionals who work with our Māori communities is important if we are to achieve this,” says Ātene Andrews, Kaiwhakahaere Whakarata Māori at PHARMAC.
“PHARMAC has been supporting the development of key parts of the Māori health workforce,” says Ātene.
This year we celebrated 10 years of supporting the development of Māori health professionals who play a crucial role in helping whānau get the best health outcomes.
Hiwinui Heke Māori Pharmacy Scholarships
In March, three pharmacy students were awarded Hiwinui Heke Māori Pharmacy Student scholarships.
This was the 10th year of these awards, born out of a partnership between PHARMAC and Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Puna Rongoā ō Āotearoa, the Māori Pharmacists Association.
Open to Māori pharmacy students studying towards their Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at either Auckland or Otago University, the scholarships are awarded based on above average academic results, participation in tikanga Māori activities, and an essay about a chosen kaupapa.
The scholarships are named after our first Māori pharmacist, Hiwinui Heke - Te Arawa-Ngai Te Rangi, Uenukukopako.
“It’s fitting that we honour the contribution of this influential leader and positive Māori health advocate by supporting future generations to follow in his footsteps,” says Ātene.
Over the 10-year history of the scholarship, 31 Māori pharmacy students have received Hiwinui Heke scholarships of up to $10,000.
“The scholarships promote pharmacy as a viable and vibrant career for young Māori, so this year’s anniversary marked a long-term and ongoing commitment by PHARMAC to help develop the Māori health workforce.”
Recipients of the scholarships this year, who each received $3,000 towards furthering their studies, were Anthony Raumati, Anja Mulder and Ellery Fruean.
The inaugural Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards were launched in August this year, at the Indigenous Nurses conference in Auckland.
These awards are a collaboration between PHARMAC and Tōpūtanga Tapuhi Kaitiaki o Aotearoa (the New Zealand Nurses Organisation) and Te Pōari o Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, which represents the interests and concerns of Māori members of the organisation.
The Tapuhi Kaitiaki Awards recognise Māori nurses who are pursuing their studies, clinical practice and professional development while continuing to support the wellbeing of whānau, hapū and iwi.
“We were pleased with the quality of the applications for these inaugural awards,” says Alison Hill, Director of Engagement and Implementation at PHARMAC.
“All of the applicants painted a vivid picture of their understanding and commitment to serving their communities through their profession.”
“I was honoured to present awards to nine recipients and to learn more about the journey each of them is on. They each demonstrated strong connections and dedication to their whakapapa and community, while continuing to strive towards excellence in their studies or professional practice.”
“PHARMAC has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Te Rūnanga, and we’re keen to continue to support the development of Māori nurses,” says Alison.
Recipients of the 2018 Tapuhi Kaitiaki awards, who each received $2000 to $2500 towards their studies, were Pauline Brennan, Awhina Dixon, Kelly McDonald, Ani Tomoana, Maria Briggs, Logan Murray, Grace Manawatu, Margaret Hand and Tiny Ranga.
Last updated: 13 December 2018