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First dental assistant cadet begins

27 October 2010

Taranaki DHB has appointed its first Maori dental cadet as part of the new Maori health and disability workforce project ‘Whakatipuranga Rima Rau’.

The new appointee, Te Waikapoata Tamati, is sponsored by the Taranaki DHB on behalf of the Whakatipuranga Rima Rau (WRR) Trust. WRR is a collaborative project which aims to create 500 employment opportunities for Maori within the Taranaki health and disability sector over the next 10 years. The project is funded by the TSB Community Trust, Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Social Development and Taranaki DHB.

“Getting this cadetship set up has involved much planning by many people so it's very satisfying to have it finally in place,” said DHB Maori Health Adviser Ngawai Henare.  “Having Te Waikapoata on board is an extra bonus that's sure to have lots of positive spin-off's,” said Ms Henare.

“Te Waikapoata will get hands-on experience in a variety of dental health roles and in a variety of settings and will also get the opportunity to undertake further study related to the position.”

“The DHB's dental team has embraced the kaupapa / project wholeheartedly which is a great tribute to their dedication and foresight. This cadetship will result in one more Maori person training to take up such a role permanently on the team, which is when the hard work will have paid off,” she said.  

Cadetships are part of the DHB workforce strategy to increase the number of Maori working in the health sector. They give students straight from school or Polytech or second chance learners the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the health sector under the guidance of dedicated professionals.

“This particular cadetship was set up due to the shortage of dental therapists in Taranaki and the need to continue to grow dental services that are more responsive to Maori. An important part of the training will take place at the new dental clinic at Rangiatea in New Plymouth.  Te Waikapoata will experience what it’s like to be working as part of a dental team, and aims to make dental therapy, and maybe dentistry, her career pathway.”

This appointment marks the first step in an initiative that addresses skill shortages in the health industry and offers training opportunities and placements for Maori in the Taranaki health and disability network.  “It is a significant milestone in a project that will make a real difference improving the overall health of our community,” said Ms Henare.

A media opportunity with Te Wai at Rangiatea oral health facility can be arranged on Friday 29 at 1pm.

For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

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Last updated: Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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