Māori nurse acknowledged with award

By Regan Paranihi

Stella Williams (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri and Ngā Puhi) is this year’s winner of the Waitematā DHB’s Te Kauae Raro Māori Nursing and Midwifery Award, in recognition of her achievements and hard work in the health sector.

Williams says her work has a clinical and cultural focus that ensures tangata whaiora (service users) receive the best possible care.

“I have a strong desire to help increase the Māori workforce and develop improved healthcare for Māori and our community,” she says.

The award was established last year to shine a light on Māori nurses who are excelling in their field.

The number of Māori clinical staff at Waitematā DHB increased by 96% between June 2015 and March 2019 while the total number of Māori personnel rose by 81% during that same period.

Waitematā DHB CEO Dr Dale Bramley (Ngāpuhi) says familiar faces tend to entice people to use health services.

“Having a health workforce that better reflects the community we serve plays a key role in improving health outcomes for Māori.

“We are committed to eliminating inequities wherever they exist, particularly in relation to Māori.  Our efforts have already contributed to Māori gaining twice as many years in life expectancy compared with the non-Māori/non-Pacific population since 2008.”

Williams works at the DHB's Whītiki Maurea - Māori Mental Health and Addiction Services in West Auckland and is currently completing her post-graduate diploma in nursing