A well-known Hokianga nurse has just retired after 30 years in nursing.

Venus Cherrington (nee Ambler) grew up in the Hokianga, and served that community well for 30 years, training as an enrolled nurse in 1967/68 and working at Kawakawa's Bay of Islands Hospital for six months after graduation.

When the children were older she and husband Hiku Cherrington from Kawakawa returned to her father's dairy farm at Waimamaku.

She worked at Rawene Hospital as an enrolled nurse in 1986, taking advantage of every opportunity to extend her knowledge and improve her clinical expertise.


In 2000 she, along with two other enrolled nurses at Hokianga, undertook bridging training to qualify as registered nurses.

On achieving that goal Mrs Cherrington returned to work at Hokianga Hospital, teaming up with registered nurse Robyn Hauraki at the Rawene Health Centre.

Always admired for her strong sense of values, for both her nursing and her community, she was active in all staff social activities, and the inter-hospital Top Team events.

In 2007 she was appointed health centre co-ordinator, and two years later completed her advanced portfolio in nursing at expert level.

"She had a vast knowledge of the community's expectation and needs, and was renowned for being a strong patient advocate. Her clinical skills and caring manner were always appreciated by patients and her colleagues," Christine Williams (Hauora Hokianga) said.

She had joined the New Zealand Nurses' Organisation (NZNO) in 1986, and served as a workplace delegate from 2004 to 2015, raising the profile of the NZNO as a supportive and informative workplace union.

She worked hard to support International Nurses' Day promotions, and opened her home to welcome nurses from overseas.

She was appointed as an honorary member of the NZNO in 2015, nominated by the NZNO Tai Tokerau Regional Council, for her passion and contribution to the nursing profession and her involvement with the organisation.

In 2008 Mrs Cherrington embarked upon a new journey, alongside a St John colleague, to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) made readily available within the Hokianga.

That involved fundraising, awareness education and training, as well as support for the on-going maintenance and registration of the AEDs, and there are now 19 around the Hokianga.

She received an ACE award from Te Tai Tokerau PHO in 2015, as a nurse who had made changes for the better of colleagues, whanau and the community.