Story: Women’s health

Māori nurses

Māori nurses

There were few Māori nurses in the early 20th century. Ākenehi Hei (Whakatōhea and Whānau-ā-Apanui), seen here standing outside her tent hospital, was the first Māori registered nurse. After gaining registration in 1908, Hei was employed by the government to work independently in Māori communities. She treated the sick, and advised on health and sanitary measures (for example, on the placement of toilets). She died of typhoid in 1910 after nursing those suffering in a typhoid epidemic.

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Christchurch City Libraries
Reference: CCL PhotoCD 11, IMG0062

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Women’s health - Women’s health activism, 1840 to 1940s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 August 2017)

Story by Megan Cook, published 5 May 2011