Build­ing hon­ours World War II nurse

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Whi­tireia’s state-ofthe- art health fac­ulty has been ded­i­cated to a cel­e­brated war-time Ngati Toa nurse, Wik­i­to­ria Katene.

The $ 17 mil­lion Wik­i­to­ria Katene build­ing was opened last Wed­nes­day by Health Min­is­ter Tony Ryall in front of 400 staff, stu­dents and com­mu­nity lead­ers.

Like Whi­tireia’s old health build­ing, the new wing has been named af­ter Katene, the only Maori nurse to vol­un­teer for overseas ser­vice in World War II. She later cared for veter­ans and was awarded the Queen’s Ser­vice Medal in 1992.

Whi­tireia chief ex­ec­u­tive Don Camp­bell won­dered what Ms Katene would have thought of the build­ing that bears her name, which houses $2m worth of tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘I won­der what she would think if she was here to­day, if she could walk around and see this build­ing that was once a fish­ing ground for Ngati Toa. I hope she would be proud,’’ he said.

The new build­ing will lift the level and qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion for health stu­dents, Whi­tireia coun­cil chair­man Roger Sowry said.

‘‘It’s go­ing to put this cam­pus on the map for health ser­vices in the re­gion.’’

Pow­er­ful powhiri: Guests were treated to a rous­ing haka and wa­iata from per­form­ing arts stu­dents at the open­ing of Whi­tireia’s new health build­ing.

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