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August 19, 2015

Poroporoaki: Putiputi O’Brien QSM

E te whaea o te motu, e te kuia o Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Tūhoe e te kaiārahi o ngā whakatupuranga, e Puti, whakangaro atu rā. Auē, taukuri ē!

The Māori Party grieves with whānau across Aotearoa for a champion of health, a leader of learning, Aunty Putiputi O’Brien.

Puti registered as a General and Obstetric Nurse at the Waikato Hospital School of Nursing from 1941-1945.

“In those days the only way into the remote country areas was by horseback. Nothing was too big a challenge for Puti who dedicated her life to what she later described as “absolutely, positively nursing” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

“Puti took up maternity and Plunket care and devoted the next five decades to nursing in the eastern Bay of Plenty, central North Island and south Waikato areas.

“While she was the Queen of Te Teko, Nanny Puti was also known and respected at a national level. If there was nursing, Nanny Puti would be there.

She was a founding trustee of the Tipu Ora Charitable Trust since 1991; an active supporter of the annual National Māori Student Nurse Hui and Patroness of Smokefree Nurses Aotearoa.

In 1987 she was awarded the Queen’s Service Order for her contribution to a wide range of community and welfare organisations. She was Patron of Te Kaunihera Neehi Maori of Aotearoa since 1984 and a member of Waiariki Institute of Technology’s nursing advisory committee.   She was also a recipient of the Akenehi Hei award from Te Rūnanga o Aotearoa for her contribution to Māori health.

Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says, “”In speaking to Smokefree Nurses, Nanny Puti gifted them with a message of inspiration for health: ‘Kia tiaho, Kia puāwai te maramatanga – the Illumination, the blossoming of enlightenment.’

“We think of her passion and commitment to nurses and nursing for well over sixty years as providing the gold star standard for how all of us should think about healthy lifestyles and the quality of care.”

Nanny Puti will be lying in state at Ruaihona Marae where her funeral will be held on this Friday 21 August.

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