Published Wednesday 2 Aug 2023

“Being part of Kia Ora Hauora definitely helped in getting me where I am today”

Health work exposure programmes can do wonders for influencing people into a career in health.

Interacting with doctors, nurses and midwives and seeing how they operate on a daily basis can give students just the motivation and confidence they need to go down that pathway.

Well, that was certainly the case for Natalya Maynard who after seven years of being involved with Māori Career Pathway Programme Kia Ora Hauora (KOH), has now become a fully qualified Anaesthetic Technician at Wellington Regional Hospital.

An anaesthetic technician assists an anaesthetist in helping put patients to sleep before they go through a procedure.

Natalya, who started getting involved in KOH’s Work Exposure Day’s in 2014 while attending Kapiti College, credits KOH for inspiring her to confirm health as her desired profession.

“Being part of Kia Ora Hauora definitely helped in getting me where I am today. I always had an interest in choosing a career in health, but what Kia Ora Hauora did for me was show me how I could do it. I got to go on multiple trips to do Māori in health programmes in Auckland and Napier etc. Through those programmes I got to meet young doctors who have just gotten into health which was really cool and it pushed me to want to do something similar.”

Natalya hails from the Rongowhakaata and Te Aitanga a Māhaki iwi in Gisborne.

She said she cherishes her Māori heritage and wants to give back to her iwi one day by using her medical skills to help the wider community.

“I’ve always had a passion for helping others and I thought to do that I would have to become a doctor, but it turns out I don’t need to be. Although I have a heart for helping all people, over the years I have built a strong desire to help my wider whānau. My iwi is in Gisborne so I have been thinking that sometime in the future I would go over there to work so I can give back to my iwi. How would I do that? I’d probably start by working in the public hospital and then just see where it goes from there.”

Natalya said she encourages all youth, in particular Māori ragantahi, who want to become an anaesthetic technician one day to give it a crack, as it is an amazing role that you will not get bored in.

“Believe me, my time as an anaesthetic technician has been great. I haven’t really had too bad a scare so far. But what I love about my job most is that no two days are the same. You won’t get bored and you’ll get to see a wide range of different operations which is really fun. So give it a go!”