Otago Polytechnic

Pasifika midwifery students are driven to succeed.

The number of Pasifika people in New Zealand is growing rapidly, and they are considerably younger on average than the general population. Although they comprise 6.9% of the New Zealand population, only 2.2% of registered midwives identify as Pasifika, so most Pasifika women are unable to access a midwife from their culture.

A team comprising Senior Lecturer Deb Beatson, Pacific Island Advisor Anna Seiuli, Associate Professor Jean Patterson, Co-Head of School Christine Griffiths and Midwifery Student Advisor Kerrie Wilson set out to discover the experiences of Pasifika midwifery students, using Pasifika research approaches. At the time only three midwifery students identified as Pasifika but all participated in the research.

Pasifika students are challenged by competing demands from family, social responsibilities, financial issues and unfamiliarity with the tertiary education environment, but are determined to succeed. It is always about "us" for Pasifika students, not about them as individuals, and the fostering of a "learning village" will help these students succeed.

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EDUCATION & EMPLOYABILITY

December 2018