Miriama Hei Hei is celebrating a milestone after graduating from one of our health programmes. But her academic journey does not end there. The mother of four has earned the NZ Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Advanced Care and Support), Level 4 at Future Skills Academy.
She is now on track to become a nurse practitioner, studying the Bachelor of Nursing Maaori degree (Te Tohu Paetahi Tikanga Rangatira aa-Tapuhi) at the Manukau Institute of Technology. While forging ahead with the three-year degree, she will keep nurturing people as a healthcare worker at Papakura Private Hospital. Of Māori descent, Miriama says she yearns to become a nurse to help her Māori whānau, hapū and iwi. “I also want to care for our people here in New Zealand with the health and support they require. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata he tangata he tangata. (What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, the people, the people).” She advises others to never give up and to strive towards their goals.
The Manurewa resident says she chose Future Skills Academy because it was close to home and held strong family ties. Cousin Sonny Kahika used to be a tutor at the academy. And Miriama’s son Te Reihaina Teihi Hei Hei earlier completed a life skills youth programme at our Manukau campus. “I was happy with all the support he was given throughout his course and the tutors were so helpful,” she says.
Miriama first launched her career path studying Māori arts and crafts and Māori Performing Arts at the Pounamu Training Systems in Papatoetoe. She became a mum at the age of 19 and worked in a Kohanga Reo Kaiawhina at Te Kohanga Reo O Nga Puawai O Wikitoria in Papakura for two years. Driven by a desire to help people, she become a community support worker with Health Vision, caring for people with different disabilities. “As the years went on, I had four beautiful children by 2007. I had such a supportive husband who was there to support me in many ways.” Miriama went on to work for a variety of healthcare agencies and Papakura Private Hospital.