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Sharelle Ratu is one of a growing number of Māori changing the look and feel of Hutt Valley DHB thanks to an initial scholarship from Kia Ora Hauora.


Sharelle Ratu is one of a growing number of Māori changing the look and feel of Hutt Valley DHB.

Sharelle grew up in Wainuiomata, and hails from Ngāti Apakura - that's a part of the larger iwi Ngāti Maniapoto.

In 2019, she interned with the DHB's Māori Health Team. The internship came thanks to a Kia Ora Hauora Champion Scholarship she received while studying a Bachelor of Social Work at Whitireia Polytechnic last year.

Supported by district health boards and the Ministry of Health, Kia Ora Hauora aims to increase Māori employment in DHBs to reflect their local population by 2025

That would mean increasing the amount of Māori staff at Hutt Valley DHB from about 6 percent to about 17 percent.

Sharelle said much of her internship was spent supporting whanau on the wards at Hutt hospital as a part of the Manaaki Whanau team. Their role is to support and advocate for Māori patients and their whanau to achieve better health outcomes.

The Manaaki Whanau role also entails sometimes supporting the clinical staff to help support whanau who at times can be challenging or who are in complex situations, helping them to relate to each other for the benefit of everyone.

“For me it’s all about being able to support whanau, being able to contribute to changing outcomes to improve Māori health.

"It’s also about being able to support and work together with my colleagues in the Māori Health Team and in other departments of the hospital to be able to achieve the best health outcomes for Māori."


Kia Ora Hauora

Kia Ora Hauora (KOH) the ‘Māori Health as a Career Programme’ is a national Māori health workforce development programme that was established in 2009 to increase the overall number of Māori working in the health and disability sector. We support growth in the Māori health workforce that is more reflective of the communities the workforce serves and supports.

Kia Ora Hauora engages with Māori students, current health workers, and community members seeking a career in health. We promote health careers, both clinical and non-clinical. We are an information hub that provides knowledge, tools and resources to get you started on a health career pathway.

No matter what stage of the decision-making process you are in, we can assist and support a better understanding of the exciting professions in healthcare. We provide increased opportunities for Māori to see the ‘health sector in action’ through mentoring and local events. This includes open days, hospital visits, science days, wānanga, café, workshops and tertiary events.

The programme is sponsored by Tumu Whakarae, the National Reference Group of Māori Health Strategy Managers within District Health Boards and the Ministry of Health. Kia Ora Hauora is led by four regional District Health Board (DHB) hubs who actively deliver the programme within their regions.

For more information please see