Māori rangatahi attending the Hauora Kura Pathway event in Rotorua found the day inspiring and it raised their awareness of the career pathways into health.

About 50 Bay of Plenty rangatahi were at the event at Toi Ohomai-Mokoia campus yesterday.

Pou Manukura - Kia Ora Hauora Midland Programme Facilitator Lianne Kohere said some of the Year 12 rangatahi welcomed the chance to get to know more about health pathways, while the Year 13 rangatahi said they enjoyed the hands-on activity and getting a better grasp of the health career pathways.

The Hauora Kura Pathway event was also an opportunity to promote Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology's new Diploma in Health Science, which is the academic equivalent of completing year one of a Bachelor of Health Science degree.

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This means rangatahi can now stay in the region while they undertake their first year of study, without the expense or upheaval of relocating while they make the transition to higher learning.

Kia Ora Hauora is a national Māori workforce development programme which aims to increase the number of Māori working in the health and disability sector.

A strong contingent of Lakes DHB Māori health professionals, a number who have come through the Kia Ora Hauora programme, were on hand to demonstrate their skill and interact with rangatahi about their chosen area of health.

St John personnel and an Ōpōtiki clinical pharmacist were in attendance. DHB staff represented many clinical and allied health areas, along with admin support staff.

Lianne said growing the Māori health workforce locally was an important step towards better health outcomes for Māori, and helping rangatahi to identify study options earlier, was important.

Kia Ora Hauora also works to provide direction and ongoing pastoral support to rangatahi while still at school, and during their tertiary study years.