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Maori health pioneer recognised
Dr Janice Wenn | Photo by Tū Tama Wāhine o Taranaki

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A former nurse who fought to improve healthcare access for Māori is to be given the Universal College of Learning’s highest honorary award.

Dr Janice Wenn started her career as a nurse in the 1950s.

She was instrumental in establishing Whaiora Whānui in the Wairarapa in 1998, after the people of Papawai Marae decided to create a health service that would reduce health inequities and empower whānau.

UCOL council chair Ben Vanderkolk says she has touched many lives, and her contribution to Māori health and healthcare in the Wairarapa has left a lasting impression.

Also at its Wairarapa graduation ceremony later this month, the polytechnic will give its young alumni award to Braidie Heberley, who graduated in 2009 with a national certificate in early childhood education and care.

She went on to complete a teaching degree through Te Tari Puna Oro o Aotearoa, and is now at Ko Te Aroha Children's Centre in Masterton, where she is leading a national pilot programme focused on supporting children who have been through or are going through trauma.

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