From a large family, 8 siblings and of Māori descent, life has always been filled with whānau, fun, and adventure, and you only survived if you were really out-spoken. A career in nursing at the completion of high school studies, meant living in the Hastings Memorial Hospital Nurses hostel, and the first time ever to experience having my own bedroom, or bed for that matter. Travel, eventual marriage and three daughters later I returned to Polytech to complete comprehensive nursing, then midwifery and my learning has never stopped. I have many bows to my string - sexual health, lactation consultant and general ‘busy body’. I am currently enrolled at Te Whare Waanga o Awanuiarangi in the Indigenous Doctorate Programme. My thesis; The subjugation of Māori women by ‘Colonisation’. I instigated a treaty claim against Oranga Tamariki in 2018.
I graduated as a midwife in 1995, and founded CHOICES, a whānau provider organisation. I currently work as CEO, alongside a great team of Māori midwives, registered nurses, early childcare teachers, reintegration facilitators and kai-awhina we provide health, social and educational services targeting Māori. I am also the current CEO of Nga Maia Māori Midwives, a voluntary position, that has many challenging aspects, most notably that Nga Maia exists, unfunded, and with very little ability to address the workforce priority needs of Maori midwives, or address the disparities Māori mama experience within their maternity or midwifery care.
As an advisory member on many government and NGO committees, as well a Trustee on two Marae Te Whatuiapiti and Hinetemoa, I am also secretary for Te Apiti Ahu Whenua Trust. My hobbies are playing the ‘uke’, playing snooker and reading. I love holidaying in Bali- I am disappointed the ICM in Bali has been cancelled.
I am thrilled to have been accepted onto the Aotearoa Midwifery Advisory Group and hope to prove my worth, thank you for having me.