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A Life Dedicated to Health Promotion – The Gisborne Herald

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Posted on December 31, 2021 at 12:28 p.m.

Rural health nurse Gina Chaffey-Aupouri (Ngāti Porou) received the Queen’s Service Medal for service to Maori through health education and community development.

“He aha te mea nui o te ao?” He tangata, he tangata, he tangata – What is the most important thing in this world? It’s the people, it’s the people, it’s the people, ”said Chaffey-Aupouri.

“Receiving the Queen’s Service Medal is a great honor. Mahi was not achieved only by me, it was by my whānau and my community.

“I humbly serve the rohe (region) through the support of my Atua (God) and mātua (parents).”

Ms. Chaffey-Aupouri began her nursing career in Napier. She trained in Wellington and then did her Masters in Otago.

“I started at Te Puia Hospital in 1976 under Mabel Kawene. It was really strict.

“There, I was a caregiver. I later applied and received scholarships to attend Napier Nursing School.

“A year later I graduated and went to Wellington to train as a comprehensive nurse.

“I took a postgraduate program in Waikato in advanced care and family planning.

“After that, I received another scholarship to become a nurse practitioner, which I went to Otago for.

“For me, health promotion is integral to the well-being of a community; that’s why I dedicated my life to it.

“We promote health through waiata (songs), activities, marae and nursing. “

Ms. Chaffey-Aupouri has been involved in Ngāti Porou and health promotion for over 40 years.

“I recently worked on rheumatic fever education.

“Now we are working on cardiac screening of our children because we found that when we were doing ECGs in schools some children missed it at a young age. As a result, they end up having strep throat and heart defects.

“We asked a cardiologist in Auckland to do a cardiac screening at the school.

“Bowel cancer. . . my friend suffered from it and I treated him. He later died of it. I believe people should know this.

“Puberty in school is a passion for me because I think our children don’t get the message to take care of themselves while their bodies go through physical and emotional changes.

“As a rural nurse, I think it’s important to make our children understand that this is normal and to show them how to take care of themselves. “

Ms. Chaffey-Aupouri grew up in Tokomaru Bay, where she was raised to be a sea and beach kaitiaki.

“I was brought up in manaakitanga and awhitanga. I learned to be a sea and beach kaitiaki from my dad. He would send us along the beach to pick up all the plastic and trash that washed up after a storm.

Ms. Chaffey-Aupouri worked for the Ngāti Uepohatu Māori Women’s Welfare League from 2002 and was made a life member that year. She said it gave her the opportunity to serve the community at the national level.

“Anyone with mātauranga (knowledge) who has the skills to impart it is really important – an asset.

“I am confident that when the Maori Health Authority is in place, people with the right skills will be able to return home, not only in health, but also in business and education.

“They nau mai haere mai ho ki mai tu mātauranga ki te kainga – Bring their knowledge home, bring back what they have to give to tamariki.

“…

“I want to honor my award in memory of those who have passed away – Raymond Chaffey (my father) and Hemoata Tukino Aupouri (my husband).

“I dedicate it to my pakeke, my mom Lil Chaffey, and all the tupuna that came before us.”

Honored: Gina Chaffey-Aupouri received the Queen’s Service Medal for her service to the Maori community through health education and community development. Photo by Paul Rickard