Young people and their families in a rural community have learned about emergencies and encouraged into a career with St John.

A Wellness Day was held in Minginui last week . It was for tamariki and their whānau in Minginui and about 43 children from Years 1 to 10 attended.

They learned how to respond to an emergency and prevent injuries as well as about allergies, blood pressure and diabetes.

There was also an ambulance on site so attendees could talk with paramedics about what it was like to be an ambulance officer.


St John Māori advisor for community health Stephen Dennett said the day was one way to address inequity and inequality.

"We've got a national programme that gets into the schools but the isolated, rural schools and dense Māōri populations need to be nurtured a bit more.

Minginui children and families attended the Wellness Day. Photo / Supplied
Minginui children and families attended the Wellness Day. Photo / Supplied

"We have educators that go out to all the schools themselves to try to bring equality.
The biggest thing for us is it's about the Māori community.

"The target is to get it [the programme] delivered in their own language."

The Wellness Day stemmed from a programme which saw St John donated defibrillators to marae around the country then asking the marae communities what their needs were.

Chairman of the Tahuhu Māori Advisory Group of St John, James Kendrick, said the day saw St John volunteers work together for a common kaupapa.

"To better enhance opportunities for our Māori kids. Our kids miss out on a lot of things so they were absolutely pumped. You should have seen their smiles."

Kendrick said the Wellness Day was also a way to create career pathways for children.


"Our Māori communities don't interact very well when an ambulance rocks up. Our staff are unaware of how to deal with that sometimes so we're hoping to look at creating career pathways for these kids.

"It's up to us to build more Māori staff in the services, get those kids involved and hope somewhere down the line they join St John."