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Paua meets Nga Puhi; a hui between Nga Puhi representatives, the PAUA team, and NZNO staff and members marked the start of a new phase of the 12-month-old project.

West Auckland's Te Piringatahi o Maungarongo Marae hosted the very first hui introducing NZNO's Progressively Acting in Unity and Aroha (PAUA) project to iwi last month.

Nga Puhi was chosen as the first iwi to be introduced to the project, due to the fact the greatest number of NZNO members identify with this iwi, said project leader Sharon Clair. The hui aimed to establish stronger networks with Nga Puhi and to increase understanding of Te Ao Maori within NZNO.

The PAUA team spent two days on the marae prior to the November 3rd hui preparing for the event. The team of six comprised Plunket clinical educator and former Te Runanga o Aotearoa NZNO chair Sharon Morunga, Auckland City Hospital neonatal intensive care unit nurse Peggy Link, National Student Unit chair Niki Swabey, NZNO Kaihaapai Hone Te Paania and his wife Dianne, and Sharon Clair. The team's seventh member--Te Runanga executive member and psychiatric assistant at Wanganui mental health services Des Ngaruru-Canterbury--was unable to attend the Auckland hui. The team met with kaumatua from Nga Puhi and were generously cared for by the marae rangatira Morgan and Huff Peeni, said Clair.

"These two days were demanding on us all. We were there to learn about Nga Puhi protocol and to prepare for the powhiri. For some of the team, this was their first time on a marae, so the learning was intense and at times exhausting. But we were all keen to (earn and to make a real contribution to NZNO's commitment to implementing the Treaty of Waitangi into NZNO policy and practice."

The hui began with a powhiri attended by around 60 Nga Puhi and NZNO representatives. They included NZNO president Jane O'Malley, chief executive Geoff Annals, organising services manager Laita Harre, Te Runanga vice-chair Margaret Jackson and some NZNO professional and industrial staff. Clair described the powhiri as a living expression of the first aim of the PAUA project--to establish networks with whanau, hapu, iwi, Maori and iwi/Maori health providers.

A number of NZNO staff and members gave presentations, which outlined some of NZNO's present projects and described NZNO's bicultural journey over the last few decades. The presentations ended with one from the PAUA team. Vice president Catherine Logan presented a history of the development of NZNO's relationships with Maori, beginning with NZNO's own nursing whakapapa and describing people of significance within the organisation, particularly those of Nga Puhi descent. Examples included one of the very first registered Maori nurses Akenehi Hei, and former Te Runanga chairs Noeline Warmington and Sharon Morunga. She also described the commitment of the perioperative nurses to greater understanding of the treaty (during the 1980s they went to Waitangi in February every two years) and their contact with Maori leader Sir James Henare two decades ago. Logan was warmly received when she presented memorial photos of Sir James Henare meeting with the perioperative nurses. Te Piringatahi o Maungarongo is one of Sir James Henare's marae.

After the introductions and waiata, participants separated into two groups and discussed three topics in line with further PAUA aims: the challenges nurses face; the Treaty of Waitangi and nursing; and what cultural values NZNO needs to understand and incorporate into policy in order to progressively act in unity and aroha. The breakout groups were a great success, said Clair. There was much discussion and many ideas forthcoming. People were so involved in the discussions that several calls for the hakari had to be given before anyone responded. NZNO will compile and make available to members the information from these discussions early next year.

"The hui was very affirming of NZNO's approach. Nga Puhi representatives not only gained an understanding of PAUA but they also got to know who and what NZNO is," said Clair. "We have now been given a mandate to use 90 percent of Nga Puhi cultural values in our nursing practice and policies."

The way Nga Puhi shared their culture on the day was also very moving, she said. "Te Kura o Nga Puhi kapa haka group performed both traditional and contemporary items for us, which aroused laughter and tears. It was an emotional and privileged experience to hear, feel and witness Nga Puhi te ao Maori. The messages given to NZNO about partnership, aroha, respect and kindness were well received." For Logan, attending the hui made her more aware of how ambitious the PAUA project is. "If NZNO is to forge strong links with iwi, we must listen carefully to what they have to say and make time to really share their experiences. This project is a huge responsibility and challenge. It will take real commitment to bring this complex project to a positive conclusion." PAUA team member Peggy Link, originally from the United States, described the hui as a life-changing experience: "Personally I feel like a changed person. My first immersion into Te Ao Maori was amazing, exhausting and inspiring. I feel like I have already grown and gained from being a part of this team and I want to give back equally."

NZNO's next meeting with iwi will be with Ngati Porou on the East Coast in March next year. This iwi represents the next biggest number of NZNO members. A hui with Ngai Tahu will be held in Lyttleton in April.
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Title Annotation:News Focus; Progressively Acting in Unity and Aroha
Author:Manchester, Anne
Publication:Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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