Ngāti Pikiao Nurse on a mission to improve Māori well-being

By D'Angelo Martin

A young Ngāti Pikiao woman is looking to improve health outcomes for her iwi. Almost 400 students from the Manukau Institute of Technology graduated this week, amongst them was Ebony Komene who is wanting to challenge the health and well-being statistics for Māori.

“As a Māori, I found it really difficult especially being in a Eurocentric class. I really wanted to make a difference, because I know that health is a really difficult subject for our Māori people,” says Komene.

Komene was just one of three other Māori who graduated with a Bachelors in Nursing.

“I am doing my postgrad as of now. At the moment I want to keep continue being a nurse practitioner, which is a half doctor half nurse as well as staying in my Māori communities because I know that where I want to work.”

She wants to challenge the statistics that impact Māori.

“My family make up those statistics as well, so it's really important that I try and be that role model for my brothers and sisters or my whanau and try and help them as much as I can.”

Kōmene's lecturer says she has been a humble and dedicated student.

“Her commitment to the community and to her family but is quite shy in acknowledging that. So she's very humble.”

Her main priority is to use her skills to better the well-being of Māori in her community of Papakura.