Samoan named N.Z. Young Nurse of the Year

Samoan Daniel Mataafa has been named the recipient of New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s (N.Z.N.O) annual Young Nurse of the Year Award.

According to a statement issued by the New Zealand Ministry of Pacific Peoples earlier this week, the award recipient is the Regional Pacific Nurse manager at the Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland, and received the award at the N.Z.N.O online Annual General Meeting in September.

The 29-year-old, according to a Ministry of Pacific Peoples statement, was left speechless by the acknowledgement.

“Among them I’m supported to keep developing myself so I in turn can offer the best support and care I can to my community here,” Mr. Mataafa said in the statement.

According to the statement, Mr. Mataafa was nominated by Senior Programme Manager for the Regional Pacific Unit at Counties Manukau DHB Michelle Nicholson-Burr.

Ms. Nicholson-Burr said that Mr. Mataafa has earned a reputation for providing outstanding, holistic care.

“He works tirelessly to ensure every patient, staff and carer interaction meets Te Tiriti principles,” Ms. Nicholson-Burr said.

According to her, Mr. Mataafa goes above and beyond what was expected in order to ensure patient journeys are seamless, respectful and safe.

Ms. Nicholson-Burr said that Mr. Mataafa has witnessed nursing professionalism of a standard she has not seen in such a young nurse.

She applauds him for his courage and resilience in breaking through the stigma of being a Samoan male nurse and using his experience to support other young Pacific men.

According to the Ministry of Pacific Peoples statement, Mr. Mataafa was selected for the award from 20 nominations.

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