Aroha Ruha-Hiraka

Ngāti Awa, Ngai Tūhoe, Te Arawa, Tūwharetoa

Taurangi te kupu whakaari, he mana tangata, he one matua

As a registered nurse prescriber, Aroha Ruha-Hiraka is passionate about Te Ao Māori and applying her knowledge of Te Ao Māori into practice. Te reo me ōna tikanga is the foundation of her nursing practice and forms the basis of her delivery of health services for whānau.

In 2017, Aroha graduated from Awanuiārangi kaupapa Māori nursing degree as a registered nurse. The tikanga Māori component of her degree helped her gain the confidence to apply Māori frameworks into practice when working with whānau. Growing up with Te Reo as her first language and through kōhanga reo and kura Kaupapa, Aroha believes health interventions are already within pūrākau and traditional Māori practices.

As a new graduate nurse, Aroha was named the 2018 joint winner of the national Young Nurse of the Year Award. The New Zealand Nurses Organisation's annual award celebrates nursing at an excellent level and recognises that recipients have reached a high level in their everyday work. She was nominated by her employer, where she worked as a new graduate, for her competent use of te reo me ōna tikanga in practice.

Aroha is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner and plans to continue working amongst her whānau, hapū and iwi in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. Te Kura Maengenge, watch this space.


Te Ōhanga Mataora: Bachelor of Health Sciences Māori Nursing

Young Nurse of the Year sets sights on doctor's degree

Ko Te Reo o Tēnei te Tāhuhu whare

He Rangatira Our Leaders

Tracey Potiki


Tracey Potiki is an experienced project manager and a dedicated advocate for whānau experiencing alcohol and other drug (AOD) harm. Over the course of more than 20 years, she has tirelessly worked to bring about positive changes and influence better care pathways for whānau, hapū, and iwi.

Joanne Baxter

Poutini Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō

In 2022, Joanne was appointed the first wāhine Māori Dean of the Dunedin School of Medicine. Working for over 20 years in the Dunedin School of Medicine, Joanne has shown that she is committed to making a real difference in education and health for individuals, whānau and communities through teaching, research, and service.
A competent psychiatrist with a moko kauae, fluent in te reo Māori, who can sit and play the guitar and tell really good stories.

Shaquille Graham

Ngāti Rangitihi, Ngaati Maahuta

Shaquille Graham is passionate about the health, well-being and hauora of Māori. He works to improve Aotearoa and tangata Māori through research into the well-being issues and inequalities that communities in Aotearoa face.