Ko Taranaki te maunga, ko Aotea te waka, ko Waingongoro te awa, ko Ngati Tupaia raua Ngati Tanewai nga hapu, ko Tangahoe raua Ngati Ruanui nga iwi, ko Wharepuni te marae, ko Heather Kimirongo Rangi Muriwai toku ingoa.
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa.
I can compare my midwifery career of 24 years to that of a pregnancy, labour and birth journey – it has taken me to uncharted waters, and I have found strengths within myself that I didn’t know existed. I have practised as a homebirth only Community LMC Midwife, a member of a kaupapa Māori NGO midwifery team, the Programme Coordinator of a community breastfeeding service, an educator on the College of Midwives Education Team (ongoing) and am currently employed by Counties Manukau Health as Clinical Lead Advisor, Māori Midwifery. I have continued to maintain a small homebirth caseload alongside these latter roles. Being involved in the Aotearoa Midwifery Project with the kaupapa of incorporating regulation to improve equitable health outcomes for not only Māori but also Pacifika and disability and mental health populations, brings with it a responsibility to have the voice of Tangata Whenua – Māori midwives – be clearly heard. I accept this position with both respect and humility. Nga mihi nui.