Building honours World War II nurse
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.