Thirty tertiary students from around Aotearoa New Zealand will travel to Raglan and Tūrangi in mid-November for two Noho Marae visits as part of Hauora Taiwhenua’s Rural Health Careers Programme.
Noho Marae is a significant aspect of the programme, as a unique opportunity that bridges the gap between tertiary students aspiring for rural health careers and the kaupapa of Māori health.
Graciously offered by Ngāti Tahinga in Raglan, hapū of Tainui and Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro in Tūrangi, hapū of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, the two visits are set to take place in back-to-back weeks, with fifteen students attending each.
During their stay, the students will immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of traditional Māori health and wellness principles. Through workshops, cultural interactions, and visits to local practices and hospitals, they will delve into Rongoā Māori, gaining insights beyond the textbooks.
Harrison Edwards, a Medical Student who attended the 2022 Noho Marae visit, shared his enthusiasm, saying, “The mana whenua were all so welcoming and eager to teach us more about their hapū, iwi and mahi with the local community. Learning about the possibilities in rural and Māori health was incredibly inspiring and it was beautiful to learn about the significance of each area!”
Hauora Taiwhenua CE, Dr Grant Davidson stated, “The noho marae visits are a fundamental first step in cultural safety training for our trainee health professionals. By immersing themselves in Tikanga Māori, Rongoā Māori and Te Ao Māori, our students can reflect on what they hear and experience during the noho marae. This will help them understand conscious and unconscious biases and improve their empathy for and work with tangata whenua across this country. We are grateful to Ngāti Tahinga and Ngāti Hikairo ki Tongariro for opening their marae for this critical learning and sharing of their knowledge.”
Supporting this, the students will also visit local rural schools to actively engage with the rangatahi there, to encourage them to consider a health or well-being career in their area.
This sharing of their own experiences, knowledge, and skills aims to inspire and guide local rangatahi with the information they need to make decisions about pursuing a career in health, as our future healthcare leaders.