Our Christchurch-based Work Placement Programme celebrates its 10th anniversary this week
in conjunction with Canterbury DHB
This week Kia Ora Hauora is celebrating 10 years of supporting more Māori into the health sector with the anniversary of its Christchurch-based Work Placement Programme in partnership with the Canterbury District Health Board.
“The week-long placement programme is where it all started. It’s hard to believe it has been 10 years.” says Cazna Luke, Kia Ora Hauora Programme Manager, National Coordination Centre.
“Without the aroha and enduring relationship we share with Ngā Ratonga Hauora Māori staff and the support of the district health board it wouldn’t be possible. Together we have been able to develop a programme that is introducing young Māori to exciting career options and helping to transform lives.”
The work placement programme was a forerunner to Kia Ora Hauora and designed as a health career work experience opportunity with the aim to promote the diversity of career pathways within the health sector.
A successful pilot was held in May 2009 which was nominated as a finalist in the CDHB Quality and Improvements Awards that year. Since then 11 more programmes have been run in Christchurch involving 108 secondary and kura kaupapa students. Kia Ora Hauora has since worked with the West Coast DHB and the Nelson Marlborough DHB to establish programmes in each region which have been running since 2015.
The latest programme got underway on Monday with 14 secondary students welcomed to Christchurch Public Hospital for the start of a busy week of workshops and hands-on activities in and around the hospital and out in the community.
The real success of the Work Placement Programme is measured in the number of secondary students that have been inspired and supported to go on to tertiary education and enter a career in health. “A high percentage of our students that have been through the Work Placement Programme have gone on to study towards a health career. We have Kia Ora Hauora registered members working in Christchurch Public Hospital today that only a few years ago were getting their first experience of the health sector on the programme,“ says Cazna. One is an operating theatre nurse and another is a Registered Nurse working in paediatrics. Others have gone on to become radiographers, midwives, emergency medical technicians or are medical students working to become doctors. “These are our whānau and they are making a difference in the health sector; their journeys and their stories make all the hard work worth it,” she says.
“The numbers of Māori working in health needs to increase in size to meet the needs of the nation’s changing population demographic. It’s only through achieving equity in the Māori health workforce that we will improve Māori health outcomes. Our job at Kia Ora Hauora is to recruit, retain and revitalise the Māori health workforce and through sustained investment in initiatives like the Work Placement Programme we’ll get there.”