Whakatau for Kevin Pewhairangi

Photo: Kevin Pewhairangi (Ngāti Porou), president of the Māori Pharmacists Association

On Thursday 26 November, the Pharmaceutical Society hosted a whakatau to officially welcome the president of the Māori Pharmacists Association, Kevin Pewhairangi (Ngāti Porou), to join the Society’s National Executive.

Kevin was joined by Joanna Hikaka (Ngāruahine), clinical pharmacist and past president of the Māori Pharmacists Association (MPA) and Anna Kyle (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu), clinical pharmacist and current member of MPA.

The Society’s president, Ian McMichael formally welcomed Kevin to join the National Executive and thanked him for his willingness to pass on his knowledge of tikanga Māori, and to help guide the Society’s National Executive on their journey in addressing issues of cultural safety and inequity in health outcomes for Māori.

When asked what he hoped the partnership between the Society’s National Executive and the MPA would achieve, Kevin said “I hope this partnership will break down barriers and allow tangata whenua to have a voice, and that this will be an avenue for Māori to make change for us, by us.”

“I’d like to see more Māori leaders, not just as part of the Pharmaceutical Society, but through the wider pharmacy and health sector.”

Kevin encouraged anyone wanting to improve their understanding of Māori culture to take steps to learn the language.  “The first step in the right direction is to learn te reo Māori. In your journey learning the language, you’ll learn the dos and don’ts, the tikanga. It’s part of the journey,” explained Kevin.