Amelia Ward, who attends Wellington East Girls College, took part in a one-week Rangatahi ki te Ao (Work Observation Week) run by national Māori health workforce development programme Kia Ora Hauora (KOH).
Thirteen students were hosted by the three hospitals within Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast and Hutt Valley District, including Kenepuru Hospital for the first time.
With her sights firmly set on becoming a midwife, Amelia was looking for confirmation this was the right path for her. So she joined the KOH initiative to experience what a day in the life of a midwife was about. And she was not disappointed with what she learned.
“Having this experience has been really amazing for me! I have always wanted to study midwifery and that was the plan for next year. But I took this opportunity because I wanted to see what midwifery was like in the real world because you don’t really hear much about it. But I’m glad I did it in the end because what this programme has done for me is one hundred per cent confirm that I want to study midwifery.”
But it’s not just midwifery Amelia is looking to pursue in the near future, but more specifically Māori midwifery.
Māori midwifery focuses on traditional Māori practices which can include, home births; welcoming a baby into the world with waiata and karakia (songs and prayers); tying the umbilical cord with muka (a flax fibre); and having men and whānau included in the birth process. All practises Amelia wants to help Māori women with if they choose to go down that path.
“Although I wanted to see how [midwifery] all worked in the hospital, I mostly wanted to see how Māori midwives worked with the traditional tikanga rules that they follow, because that’s the path I’m hoping to take. We don’t have enough midwives as it is, but there are less Māori midwives out there, so I want to specialise in Māori midwifery so I can help Māori women give birth in a traditional Māori way. I believe the more Māori midwives there are, the more Māori women will feel comfortable to do that, and I want to be able to provide that for them.”
Amelia encouraged anyone looking for support into Māori health to contact Kia Ora Hauora as they have been the pathway for her moving forward with her health career goals next year.
The Kia Ora Hauora/Te Whatu Ora CCHV Career Pathway Programme is designed to promote, support and implement a pipeline for rangatahi Māori into health careers.
If you want to know more about Kia Ora Hauora’s Career Pathway Programme’s, email Leigh Andrews at: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 027 222 4378.