Around 40 students from seven Tauranga schools have taken part in a day-long event focussed on increasing the Māori workforce in health.

The Te Whe pilot programme for Year 10 rangatahi (young people) was held at St Johns Ambulance Tauranga headquarters on 17th Avenue. The students enjoyed an ambulance tour and rescue helicopter visit as well interactive exercises on IV (intravenous) injections, wound management care, use of a resuscitation kit, and an introduction to CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

“I enjoyed all of it but liked doing the IV injections into the dummy leg the most,” said 14 year old Nathaniel Tane from Te Wharekura O Mauao. “It has made me interested in health and to help people by wanting to become a doctor. I want to study health to be a doctor.”

It was a wonderful opportunity for Māori rangatahi to be exposed to health related activites said Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) Kia Ora Hauora Coordinator, Mau Tane.

Above: Around 40 students from seven Tauranga schools attended Te Whe pilot programme for Year 10 rangatahi.

“The objective is to highlight health career opportunities to rangatahi and provide them with an opportunity to meet health professionals from all different specialities, see what sparks their interest and to encourage them to think about their subject selections in high school,” said Mau.

“The event ran smoothly from the whakatau at the start to the karakia at the end. The programme was well received by all involved.

“It was a great success with teachers, rangatahi and St John staff all enthusiatic about this pilot programme, and we are hoping to make it an annual collaborative event,” she added.

The event was run collbaoratively by the BOPDHB Kia Ora Hauora, St John and Whakapiki Āke (Auckland University Faculty of Medicine). The schools involved included Te Wharekura O Mauao, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kura Kōkiri, Tauranga Boys College, Tauranga Girls College, Otumoetai College, Aquinas and Te Puke College