Published Friday 24 Feb 2023

Three Māori tertiary students recently gained valuable work experience through the Kia Ora Hauora’s Champions Programme.

The initiative helps prepare students for joining the workforce, and helps strengthen connections between rangatahi and Te Whatu Ora.

The students, Dawn, Hilary and Amber, worked with teams across Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley over a three-week period. 

On the last day of the programme, they shared their experiences at Kia Ora Hauora’s Champions Graduation ceremony.

Here’s what they had to say:

Dawn: “It was an experience of unimaginable high quality. It gave me the opportunity to zone in on the actual field that I’m interested in working in. It has also given me the motivation to get my Bachelor finished so I can come back.”

Hilary: “It’s been really great. I’ve met lots of people that I’ll work with in the future which is really good to form those relationships early. I also feel that I got really good feedback for them to hopefully do something in the future. Getting to know everyone and knowing how everything works has given me a head step for the future.”

Amber: “It was a wonderful experience. It gave me a huge insight into mental health and my confidence has grown immensely over the three weeks. I feel inspired to become a mental health nurse and help people, particularly Māori.”

Kia Ora Hauora Central Region Coordinator Leigh Andrews said, “This year’s Kia Ora Hauora Champions Programme is exciting as it’s the first initiative in our 2023 KOH 2D Health Careers Pathway Pipeline. To meet our tertiary students/budding health professionals at the start of the year, creates potential to have a mentor for our rangatahi initiatives throughout the year, so our pipeline of Māori health professionals continues to flourish and thrive.”

If you want to know more about the Kia Ora Hauora Champions Programme, email Leigh Andrews at: or phone: 0272224378.