On the ball for equity

In an effort to reduce health inequities and promote healthy lifestyles, a netball tournament for Maaori health workers was hosted by the Auckland branches of Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa, New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) and the National Council of Maaori Nurses on Saturday, 11 February at the Manurewa netball courts. 

The kaupapa focussed on whanaungatanga (kinship, connections) among Maaori health workers including nurses, doctors, students, allied health, kaiawhina (non-regulated roles), midwives and psychologists. 

Teams were also encouraged to be inclusive with whaanau (family), rangatahi (young people) and pakeke (elders) participation.

Leigh Paparoa, Clinical Nurse Director, Maaori Health, explains that the tournament was inspired by the more traditional Pa Wars (inter-marae) competitions.

“This is the first tournament of its kind bringing together Maaori health professionals to showcase their diverse talents and unique skills.”

Eight teams participated in the sporting event with representation from Maaori PHO’s and NGO’s, Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau and Waitemata, and Ngā Ringa Āwhina who comprise of Maaori neehi (nurses), tauira (students), kaimahi (workers) and whaanau.

Ouida Kingi Albert, Emergency Department Maaori Health Nurse, says initially the idea of playing netball was daunting.

“I haven't played since college eight years ago, but the idea that I will be surrounded by Maaori - my own people - was too exciting to not participate. 

“The tournament was amazing! The energy was filled with aroha and lots of whakawhanaungatanga. 

“Overall, I am proud to be Maori, proud that I participated and definitely looking forward to next year’s tournament.”

Dhyanne Hohepa, Nurse Practitioner at Middlemore’s Emergency Department, said it was a great day designed to showcase the diversity in our health workforce.

“It is a good way to show that we are all in this together and collectively working to improve the health of our whaanau.” 

 A big mihi atu to all the teams: 

  • Ngā Ringa Āwhina Tahi (winners A grade – local Maaori nursing network),
  • Papakura Marae (runners up A grade – Maori PHO),
  • National Hauora Coalition (winners Social grade – Maaori PHO),
  • Catcha Whaea (runners up Social grade – Te Whatu Ora Maori Health CM), 
  • Te Toku Tumai (Te Whatu Ora Akl),
  • MMH Emergency Department (Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau),
  • Te Hononga (Maori NGO), 
  • Ngā Ringa Āwhina Rua.
Nga Ringa Awhina Rua
Nga Ringa Awhina Tahi winners A grade

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Maori Health

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