Awhiora Winmill-Nia Nia

Awhiora Winmill-Nia Nia

Core Midwife, Middlemore Hospital, Counties Manukau District Health Board
Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery)

Ngāti Kahungunu, Tuhoe, Tongan

Deciding to become a midwife was easy, says Awhiora Winmill-Nia Nia who is now a core midwife at Middlemore Hospital.

“I chose to study midwifery because I wanted to have a meaningful career and I enjoy interacting with people. Watching my second youngest brother being born at home when I was a child and then seeing my youngest brother being born when I was a teenager was a natural part of life that seemed normal and calm for me. Now when I reflect back, I think my desire to become a midwife stemmed from those experiences.”

Awhiora says being a midwife at Middlemore Hospital can be challenging but it’s always rewarding.

“Middlemore is a tertiary hospital and the majority of women I work with are high risk with complexities. Being a core midwife here involves caring for women during the antenatal period, during the labour and birth as well as postnatally.

“I enjoy seeing the empowerment women experience when they’ve given birth as well as feeling the abundance of love within the room. I’m very privileged to walk alongside women and whānau during their childbirth experience.”

A close-knit university environment
For Awhiora, the journey towards becoming a midwife started with enrolling in AUT’s Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery), supported by scholarships from Kia Ora Hauora.

“The AUT South Campus in Manukau was close to home and it’s a very intimate campus, which is nice because I was able to build relationships with my classmates and the lecturers. I also appreciated that AUT has an immense amount of support from the lecturers and tutors, and there is also specialised support for Māori midwifery tauira thanks to the Māori student support service and senior students tutoring younger students.”

The close-knit environment was the highlight of her time at university, Awhiora says.

“There were many highlights during my time at AUT but the one that stands out the most is having shared lunch with the midwifery cohort at the end of each year to celebrate our achievements.”

Advice for other students
Awhiora, who graduated from AUT in 2020, has some great advice for other students.

“Always ask for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or struggling. Nothing comes easy, so work hard because anything is possible if you believe in yourself and make sacrifices.”

Make the most of the opportunities available to you, she adds.

“Take every opportunity that comes your way. One thing I particularly enjoyed while I was at university was being a Māori tutor for the midwifery tauira who were in the year below me.”

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