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Kindness and respect wins the day: Daniel Mataafa announced as Young Nurse of the Year

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s (NZNO’s) has announced CM Health registered nurse Daniel Mataafa as Young Nurse of the Year.

Daniel is part of the Regional Pacific Team within Pacific Health Development, a team that he joined at a time of unprecedented increase in demand for services as a direct result of Covid-19 and New Zealand closing its borders.

“Daniel has demonstrated courage and bravery to ensure every patient journey delivers a respectful, seamless and safe experience” says Chief Nurse and Director of Patient and Whaanau Experience Jenny Parr.

“He provides patients with holistic care, and equity of access is evidenced in how he has managed his diverse case load. Heartfelt congratulations to Daniel for an honour that is very well deserved”  

Daniel has spoken of the adversity he has felt being a Samoan male nursing student and has chosen to channel his experience into guiding others, especially young males contemplating a career in nursing. Speaking at events at places like Tangaroa College to demystify nursing as a career choice is evidence of his commitment to the nursing profession.

Speaking to the NZNO Daniel said he was lost for words and humbled when he learned he had received the award.

“When I got the call from NZNO I was speechless. I had to take my break early to let it sink in. I feel really honoured, but deep down I know any of the nominees deserve it too.”

Daniel says he is proud of being able to build resilience and adapt to carry on doing the work he does. He also highlights that he’s grateful to work alongside such a good team of people.

“Among them I’m supported to keep developing myself so I in turn can offer the best support and care I can to my community here.”

Daniel was chosen from 20 nominations and the award was presented to Daniel at NZNO online Annual General Meeting on 16 September. 

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