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Published Friday 1 Feb 2019

Not everybody who visits Hutt Hospital expects to be prescribed a career in health care.

But for 17-year-old Taita College student Malaya Raihanhia-Gibbs that was just the case.

Not everybody who visits Hutt Hospital expects to be prescribed a career in health care.

But for 17-year-old Taita College student Malaya Raihanhia-Gibbs that was just the case.

Malaya has been gaining work experience throughout the hospital over the past month as the Hutt Valley District Health Board’s 2019 Kia Ora Hauora champion.

Kia Ora Hauora is a national initiative backed by the Ministry of Health, which was started in 2009 with the aim of boosting the number of Māori people working in the health and disability sector.

Malaya has enjoyed mentoring from our health professionals throughout the hospital including anaesthetics, cardiac physiology, and into operating theatres.

She said the experience has broadened her understanding of the diversity that a career in health can offer.

“It’s an opportunity to want a career in health… it’s just opened my eyes to something interesting.

“I’ll probably end up somewhere in health - I’m not sure where.”

She will also be part of a small group of college students within the Hutt Valley to be involved with nō te rangatahi ki te rangatira i te mahi o hauora, a new initiative created to support the growth of the Māori workforce at the health board.

Malaya is Ngāti Porou ki harataunga Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, traditionally from the east coast of the North Island by the Hawke’s bay.

She’s in her final year at her Lower Hutt-based college, studying physics, math, English and geography with the goal of heading into tertiary education.

She also supports her mother and immediate whānau with teaching kapa haka and is proud of her younger brother and cousin who will be going to Hawaii in the near future to perform with a wider group..

She represented the college at the 2018 Tū Kaha health conference.

HVDHB project manager Cody Hartley-Warbrick said it had been a pleasure introducing Malaya to health care at Hutt Hospital.

“She’s been busy but she’s done brilliantly. The hope is that one day she’ll be back ready to settle in to a career here.”

Malaya will visit Silicone Valley, home to giant global tech firms including Apple, Facebook and Google, in California with the Innovative Young Minds programme in April.

She’s going as part of a collaboration between Rotary and Hutt City Council that aims to get more young women interested in STEMM careers - that’s science, technology, engineering, mathematics and manufacturing.

Malaya didn’t tell her mum until three weeks after she found out she was going.

“I didn’t know how to tell her - now we’re both just excited about what the future might bring.”

Malaya’s pepeha, a way of introducing yourself in Māori, is as follows:

Ko horouta toku waka

Ko waiopaoa toku awa

Ko te kuri-o-paoa toku maunga

Ko te muriwai toku marae

Ko ngai tamanuhiri toku iwi

Ko Lewis Raihania toku papa

Her iwi’s whakatauki is:

Taku he ki te huatea no muri ko te huauri

Cody Hartley-Warbrick and Kerry Dougal, would like to thank the following people for supporting Malaya with getting exposure to the different career opportunities within the health sector; Māori Health Team, Lauren Hancock, Associate Director of Allied Health Scientific and Technical Services; Chris Kerr, Director of Nursing; Katrina Tandecki, Pharmacy Manager; Lloyd Huntsman, SCL Section Head – Core Laboratory; Hayley Shatford, Lead MRT for Breast Services; Rhiannon Jones, Dietitian; Harley Rogers, Service Planning & Integration Manager; Shane Bradbrook, Senior Advisor Regional Public Health; Janice Hemi, Regional Public Health Service Delivery Manager; Keith Lewis, Team Leader, Regional Public Health – Health Protection; Gayle Ryan, Allied Health, Scientific and Technical Educator; Marius Grobler, Clinical Engineering Technician, Clinical Engineering; Shelagh Thomas, Manager Central Sterile Services; Angela Geary, Clinical Physiologist in Charge – Cardiology; Stephen Gregory, Clinical Physiologist, Respiratory; Karen Coleman, Radiology Manager; Lee Wilmot, Peri Operative Clinical Educator and Anaesthetic Technician; Kylie Bolland, Audiology Manager; Geoff Hunt, Clinical Head of Hospital Dental Department and all those that have been involved with Malaya’s journey.