As 13 Māori nursing students graduate from Whitireia Polytechnic, hopes are high that their bicultural skills will improve health outcomes for Māori patients.
Whitireia is one of only two educational institutions to offer a Bachelor of Nursing (Māori) course.
The programme draws on Māori and general knowledge of the profession, including the principles of kaitiakitanga, manaakitanga, pūkengatanga, rangātiratanga and whānaungātanga, in order to enhance ākonga learning.
The dean of Whitireia Polytechnic's Faculty of Health, Kathy Holloway, said being able to deal with Māori patients in a culturally appropriate way was important.
Dr Holloway said these nursing students had the skills to do that.
"The way that we prepare that graduates is that they can walk in both worlds. They bring their nursing discipline and their confidence in te ao Māori to their practise in a way that we believe will make a difference to health outcomes for Māori," she said.
She said that the Whitireia nursing programmes were developed in response to direct community need.
She said it was clear from the number of graduates now in the workforce that they have been a resounding success.