Plunket Nurse Te Rongopai Clay Mackay has been recognised in this year’s New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Young Nurse of the Year awards as runner-up.
Te Rongopai, aged 23 and of Ngāti Awa and Tuwharetoa Ki Kawerau descent, has always had a passion for improving the health of her people. She works alongside young mothers, providing them with support as they gain confidence as new parents.
“My decision to become a nurse was influenced by my grandparents and their strong values of caring, manaakitanga and respect,” said Te Rongopai.
She has completed both the Well Child and Before Schools training and is the first nurse in Plunket to deliver both of these services in Te Reo Māori. “It means I am able to provide the best service for whānau” she said.
“I share my story with whānau and believe that’s an important part of the relationship I have with them. It helps to build trust so together we can share our knowledge about the needs of their tamariki and ensure they have the best start.”
Plunket Clinical Leaders Bridget Robertson and Judith Baker say Plunket is very proud of Te Rongopai. “She is an inspiration to us all and a fantastic role model to young mothers.”
Te Rongopai also supports her nursing peers to help grow and nurture stronger relationships with their Māori clients by introducing mihi, whakawhanaungatanga, kaupapa and poroporoaki to their practice.
The Young Nurse of the Year award is to recognise and celebrate the often exemplary work of nurses in the younger age group and to encourage younger nurses to demonstrate their commitment to the nursing profession.
“I want to do more in my role as a Plunket Nurse and I hope to inspire some of these young mothers to think about what they can achieve in their future.”
21 September 2018