March 31, 2019
Nurses look taniwha in eye
A nurses’ advocate says Māori nurses may be wary of using social media, and other forms of communication need to be available.
The use of social media was discussed at last week’s Southern Regional Convention of the Nurses Association, both in the light of the Christchurch terror attacks and in the way it contributed to last year’s industrial action.
Kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku says social media became a way members could express their feelings as tensions ramped up over the wage talks, but there was also a risk comments could get taken out of context or have adverse consequences.
Māori nurses largely stayed out of the online conversations, and when they did contribute, the reaction sometimes quickly became personal and racist.
That’s why the association has to be careful about becoming overly reliant on engaging with members on platforms like Facebook.
"We need to go back and make sure we have the kōrero kanohi ki te kanohi, pakahiwi ki te pakahiwi and look the taniwha in the eye and have the conversation. That type of conversation is how Māori engage and get to have that insight into what you are actually saying through your body motions, through the eye contact, and those unspoken words are often more powerful than the words that are written on a screen," Ms Nuku says.
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