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Invited Speakers

Dr Maria Baker

Dr Maria Baker, PhD, has gained over 20 years of expertise in healthcare, mental health, and social care workforce development for Māori.

She earned her PhD in Māori Health, focusing on Māori nursing workforce development and suicide prevention. She is also a registered nurse, holds many mental health and nursing qualifications and has been in advisory roles to help healthcare better address the health needs of Iwi and whānau.

Throughout her research and mahi, she focuses on the question: will it benefit and strengthen Māori? This has led her to work on kaupapa in Māori health and social workforce development, Māori organisational advancement, antiracism, Māori nursing workforce development, and Māori suicide prevention. Her goals are led by the needs of communities and her personal experiences.

From 2007 to 2023, Maria played a critical role in the development, growth, and success of Te Rau Ora. Within her work, she focused on strengthening health and wellbeing by collaborating and facilitating the Māori collective. Her passion and commitment to kaupapa inspired many to pursue the best possible outcomes for whānau.

In 2023, Maria was appointed as the new CEO of Te Hiku Hauora, the largest health provider of primary healthcare services in the Far North. She will provide value with her expertise in understanding the importance of community and care for all patients.

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