Hinetu Nikora wins Pinnacle’s inaugural Māori Health Education scholarship

01 February 2024

At the presentation ceremony of Kia Puāwai from left, Linda Norris (PAC operations manager), Sandri Killian (HR business partner), Hinetu Kallon Nikora, Selena Batt (regional support manager - screening services) and Justin Butcher.

Pinnacle is thrilled to announce Hinetu Kallon Nikora, a patient service representative in our Patient Access Centre (PAC), as the inaugural recipient of Kia Puāwai, Pinnacle’s Māori Education Fund.

This $5,000 scholarship supports kaimahi Māori in pursuing further education that aligns with Te Whare Tapa Whā – a holistic view of wellbeing, honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and supports Pinnacle’s commitment to developing a diverse and thriving healthcare workforce.

"Pinnacle recognises the existing health disparities in Aotearoa New Zealand and is committed to empowering and supporting the growth of our Māori workforce, both within our organisation and beyond. Kia Puāwai is something we can provide to help achieve this,” says Pinnacle Kaiwhakatere (CEO) Justin Butcher.

Now in her second year of a Bachelor of Health Science (major in Poutu-maro Biomedical Sciences) at the University of Waikato, addressing health disparities within Māori communities and making a difference in Māori health and wellbeing is deeply personal for Hinetu.

"Seeing my own whānau battle diabetes, heart conditions, and hereditary issues are motivators for me to want to do what I can to improve health outcomes and make a difference. I want to use my studies in clinical research to explore how modern medicine and hauora practices can work together to tackle these growing chronic and hereditary conditions.”

While clinical research is Hinetu’s main focus, developing her pharmacy skills gives her another way to support people facing these challenges.

“My goal is to bridge the gap between modern medicine and hauora practices, finding innovative ways to combat long-term chronic issues like diabetes and support whānau with hereditary conditions.”

We congratulate Hinetu on her well-deserved scholarship and wish her all the best in her studies!

The Pinnacle Māori Education Fund reflects Pinnacle’s ongoing efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive working environment and contribute to a more equitable healthcare system for all New Zealanders.