Tuwharetoa, New Zealand CPR and AED Defibrillation Course

30 April 2017

defibrillation course participants

Ngati Tuwharetoa is the sixth largest Iwi (Marae tribe) in New Zealand, located in the centre of the North Island of New Zealand. They are passionate about improving the health of the Tuwharetoa people. The distance from ambulance stations to many of the Tuwharetoa Marae is substantial, resulting in lengthy delays in ambulance arrival times. The need for automated defibrillators to be located on all Marae or in significant locations within the community surrounding the Marae was therefore identified. Tuwharetoa requested that Janet Curtis, Lecturer - International Projects within the Department of Community Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice, assist with the first set of courses.

A CPR and AED course was designed and piloted with the Ariki (Chief) office and several Marae to ensure the content met the needs of the Iwi. The focus was to be on practical hands-on training ensuring participants were not overwhelmed with a lot of written information. The pace of the training had to ensure participants were given sufficient time to discuss important cultural issues that may arise when doing CPR, and that they would leave feeling confident with their newly acquired skills.

Funding to purchase AED defibrillators and to run 10 courses for members from 20 Marae was received from Tuwharetoa Trust Board and Mercury Energy.
The first official course was held in March 2017 at the Waitetoko Marae. Participants came from Waitetoko, Poukura and Hikairo Marae. Janet was assisted by Teresa Chapman, a Tuwharetoa member. Cultural protocol was adhered to on the Marae with karakia (prayer) at the start and end of each day. Trainees which included Kaumatua (Elders) shared in lively discussion, some of which addressed important ethical and cultural issues. Everyone in attendance was actively involved and showed great technique in CPR.

Feedback from the participants indicated all intended outcomes were met with comments such as “I feel more confident now. Should someone need assistance, I feel I am able to help.  Thanks so much” to “Cool! I found that I could understand (the material)” and “Wonderful trainers – the course was not regimented”; and finally “Very important matauranga (knowledge, wisdom, understanding, skill) that we learnt today”.

Well done to everyone involved!