Aspiring youth leader makes a lasting impression

Aspiring youth leader makes a lasting impression

Tēnā koe Dr Lance,

This is Pianika Taylor emailing you.  I had the pleasure of meeting you and your wife Tracy in 2014 at the Māori Party farewell event for the Honorable Ministers Dr Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia.  I attended the event with my Aunty, Mihirawhiti Searancke.

I thought I would send you an email to let you know what I have been doing. I am now 18 years old, studying at the University of Auckland. In 2017, I had the best experience of my life completing a Certificate in Health Science in Māori and Pacific Health at the University of Auckland under the Māori and Pacific Admission Scheme (MAPAS).

My dream has not changed since I last met you - I still aspire to become a doctor.  This year, I am continuing at Auckland University, completing the Bachelor of Health Science First Year with the hope of being accepted into Medical School for 2019.

University has opened my eyes to what the world is really like and what is important. While studying my certificate, I learnt about the inequities our people face and have faced, not only in health but in many facets of our lives. It has lit a fire in me to be an advocate for our people as you and many of our Māori leaders do everyday. There is so much more to say about what I have learned so far, but that can be for another day.

I would also like to let you know that you have been an inspiration to me ever since I met you in 2014. Thank you for what you do for our whānau in health. 

I recently read your book 'The Good Doctor' which I found challenging to read as it opened my mind to things I had never thought about before, particularly what our health system should and shouldn't be focusing our funding on. It also challenged what I have learnt and my own values. The most memorable part of the book was the chapter where you talked about the '45 minute man' who was a Māori doctor who inspired you at a young age. I'd like to tell you that you were the '45 minute man' who inspired me to pursue my dreams.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email amongst your busy schedule. If you were interested in catching up in the future, I would be happy to meet with you again.

Ngā mihi nui,
Pianika Taylor

Posted: Sat 10 Feb 2018