Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

The rise of Māori health professional graduands

By Regan Paranihi
  • South Island

Seventy-six Māori students from Otago’s health professional degrees will graduate this Saturday, 8 December, making it the largest cohort of Māori health professionals to graduate from the University of Otago.

The graduating cohort includes 40 Māori doctors, 13 Māori physiotherapists, five Māori pharmacists, seven dentist, five oral health graduates and two doctors of Clinical Dentistry.

The University’s Māori Health Workforce Development Unit (MHWU) Programme Manager, Zoe Bristowe, says it is an historic graduation that will have a positive impact on New Zealand’s health workforce and communities.

She says, “It’s inspiring to know that many of these graduates will make a significant difference to Māori health.”

Graduand Dr Abbey Corbett, is the country’s first Māori student to obtain a Doctor of Clinical Dentistry in Paediatric Dentistry, she says she’s looking forward to celebrating her achievements.

“My family and I are excited to support and celebrate with the large number of students and their families attending Te Heika Pounamu this year.”

Te Heika Pounamu is the University of Otago’s pre-graduation ceremony for all Māori students throughout the University which will be held on Friday, 7 December.