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Efficient Preachers of the Gospel of Health:  the 1898 scheme for educating Maori Nurses 

Pamela J Wood, RGON, BA, Tutor, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin 

Reference: Wood, P. (1992).  Efficient Preachers of the Gospel of Health:  the 1898 scheme for educating Maori Nurses Nursing Praxis in New Zealand 7(1), 12-21

The idea for training young Maori women as nurses did not come from health professionals.  The first official impetus came from educators.  In 1898 James Pope, who was the Inspector of “Native Schools” for the Department of Education, wrote to his employer with the idea that two of the senior pupils at the Maori boarding schools in Napier should be attached to the hospital for a yuear as “assistant nurses and dressers”. At the end of this time they could be “sent back to their settlements in the usual way, but now fitted to be efficient preachers of the gospel of health”.
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