Master of Nursing 1st Class Honours
Coral Wiapo is dedicated to making significant contributions to improve Māori healthcare - passionate about developing the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to support the development of the nursing workforce to be able to respond to the needs of Māori. Coral recognises the intersectionality of being wahine Māori, a nurse and a lesbian and strives to give visibility to the strengths that are inherent within this.
Coral currently works as a Professional Teaching Fellow at Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland. She was previously the Northland Regional Coordinator of enrolled nurses and nurse practitioner workforce development with a focus on developing and strengthening the Maori and Pasifika nursing workforce.
Coral previously worked in a leadership role with Mahitahi Hauora, Northland’s largest primary health organisation. Their mahi is focused on achieving equity and improving outcomes for whānau and communities across the region. Prior to this, Coral worked at Waitemata District Health Board, where she was the first to be awarded the Maori Nurse of the Year award.
While working towards her masters in nursing, Coral was awarded a scholarship by New Zealand Health Group to help complete her studies. She acknowledges that the mahi who received the award has been supported by the Maori nurse mentors she has learned from throughout her studies and career.
Coral was the lead author of a paper exemplifying Māori nurse leadership, which recommended a model that weaves together the many strands of leadership to demonstrate that leadership cannot be separated from the whole and that leadership is dynamic and intrinsically connected through whakapapa (ancestry). The purpose of the model is to give Maori nurse leaders visibility to be authentically themselves.
Coral has co-authored a research paper on improving access to primary healthcare integrating nurse practitioner roles. The findings were that the nurse practitioner workforce has the potential to improve access to primary healthcare services in Aotearoa, particularly for Māori, Pacific, rural and other high-priority communities. The paper proposed that a framework needs to be made that is informed by people within the community and healthcare.
She has also co-authored research on how Maori nurse leaders dealt with tensions and managing. Many within the health sector knew from experience with health inequities that Māori and Pacific peoples would experience higher death rates and be hardest hit economically during COVID-19 than non-Māori. This research was informed by Māori nurses who have knowledge of mātauranga Māori. The conclusion was that Māori nurse leaders play a necessary role in providing equity-focused healthcare.
Coral has gained a Post Graduate Certificate in nursing - Leadership and Management, a Post Graduate Diploma Māori Health and a Master of Nursing Grade - First Class with Honours from Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland. She has also gained a Bachelor of Health Science - Registered Nursing from Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau Auckland University of Technology.
Coral was recently awarded a Ngā Pae O Te Māramatanga Ph.D scholarship, which has enabled her to study towards her Ph.D. with a research focus on Māori Nursing Realties – discovery, reclamation, and reimagining Māori nursing.