I hail from Kai Tahu and I was raised in Christchurch predominantly by my Mum who made sure that we all had a very strong Te Ao Māori focus.
After giving nursing a go for a year I realised that perhaps it wasn’t for me! So I moved to Invercargill where I completed a diploma in Te Ara Reo Māori followed by a degree in Social Work with NMIT.
And so that’s how I ended up working as the Kai Whakatuarā Rangatahi for Te Piki Oranga. I believe that the voices of rangatahi are not being heard and I want to do something about that, and I am. In the rangatahi action groups that I’ve been holding they’ve told me that "I like you because you listen to me, not many adults listen, they just talk and tell you what to do".
Ko Debbie Kotua ahau
He uri au o Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, ētahi iwi whakaruru hau o Whakatū.
In my role as a Tamariki Ora Nurse I work with whānau and their pēpi (0-5 years). My visits aim to give tamariki the best start in life by providing health assessment, detecting problems early, growth and development monitoring, health education/ promotion and support for the care givers.
I have also just qualified as a Lactation Consultant - this gives me the privilege to be able to support women who choose to breast feed. This support can be offered before and after the birth of their pēpi.