The Auckland DHB Māori and Pacific Health Care Assistant (HCA) Cadetship development programme, introduced by Chief Nursing Officer, Margaret Dotchin, has been in place since 2016. During that time, more than 18 HCA cadets have successfully completed the programme. Many have taken up health roles at Auckland DHB or gone on to further training.

It was quite literally a dream come true. That’s how Margie Patelesio described the opportunity to become a registered midwife through the sponsorship support of the A+ Trust.

Margie was born in Samoa and migrated to New Zealand as a young child. After finishing secondary school, Margie started work, got married and had four children. Even though she enjoyed her job, she never gave up on her dream of one day becoming a midwife. In 2016, Margie was accepted into the Auckland DHB Māori and Pacific Health Care Assistant Cadetship with sponsorship support from the A+ Trust.

Through Margie’s hard work and determination, and support from Auckland DHB and MIT, she successfully completed her training as a health care assistant.

In 2018, the A+ Trust recognised Margie’s contribution to patients, their families and the community and agreed to continue to support her to begin midwifery training with a Workforce Health Scholarship.

“Margie’s experience as a Samoan woman and a mother brings a unique richness and knowledge that we know will make her an outstanding midwife,” says Gill Naden, from the A+ Trust. “The A+ Trust is proud of the way it has been able to provide this very deserving candidate with a stepping-stone to a rewarding health career."

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Zaria Jakman, one of the 2017 Māori cadets, says the cadetship has made a huge positive difference to her life. “It was a challenge having to balance shift work, studying and whānau, but with the aroha and support of my friends and whānau it was possible. I enjoy the caring aspects of my new role, knowing that I am making a positive contribution to the patients care while they are at hospital.”  Zaria is now studying for the NZ Diploma in Enrolled Nursing and continuing to work as an HCA at Auckland.

The aim of the cadetship is to create pathways into health careers for Māori and Pacific and reduce barriers to joining the health workforce,” says Margaret Dotchin, Chief Nursing Officer. “More Māori and Pacific nurses and health care assistants in our workforce can only lead to a better health outcome for our Māori and Pacific patients.”

The HCA cadetship programme is just one of the ways we support our people to progress in their careers with Auckland DHB. Thanks to the A+ Trust for their funding support and to Tina Reid and Linda Chalmers who lead the HCA Cadetship programme.