Nikita Turoa

After being introduced to Whakapiki Ake while in secondary school, Nikita found her home away from home while studying towards a Bachelor of Medicine.

Nikita-Moana Turoa (Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Maru) Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

“For Māori students, coming to university is hard. Leaving our whānau is a challenge but the support from MAPAS made the transition so much easier. MAPAS provides students with an advisor who oversees their progress through the degree, as well as academic and pastoral support. I liken MAPAS staff to those cool aunties you have that you tell all your secrets to.

The team at Whakapiki Ake came to my school when I was year 12. At the time I was starting to think about University and what subjects to take to set myself up right.

Nikita Turoa (Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Maru) Student: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

“The lecturers and course coordinators are also such amazing student supporters. Throughout my time at university, I have also had great experiences with the Student Health and Counselling Service as well as the FMHS Student Support Services staff.

“Life experiences are a huge part of who we are, and in healthcare, it is so important to have people with a range of diversity. People best serve people like them because there is a sense of understanding that comes with being from similar places or having similar cultural backgrounds. This understanding is a huge part of ensuring our people feel safe and heard by health professionals.

“A huge factor that contributes to poorer health for rural communities is access to doctors. This creates access and financial barriers to healthcare that result in rural communities suffering. My main goal at the moment is to give back to Māori communities as my culture and my peopleare what have gotten me this far.”