Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner is congratulating 70 tertiary students awarded Pacific Health Scholarships during a special ceremony at the University of Auckland this evening.

The Ministry of Health-funded scholarships aim to strengthen the Pacific health and disability workforce by providing financial assistance to Pacific students committed to improving the health of their communities.

“Boosting the Pacific health workforce will help address the diverse needs of Pacific communities and promote better Pacific health outcomes,” Ms Wagner says.

“This year a record 190 Pacific Health Scholarships are being awarded — totalling more than $1.4 million. The scholarships, which cover 80 per cent of course fees, are awarded based on academic achievement, community involvement, leadership qualities and commitment to Pacific communities.”

Over half the scholarships are going to recipients across the upper North Island, with most students studying medicine, nursing and allied health subjects at universities and technical institutes in the Auckland region. Some are also studying in Northland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

“Many of the students awarded scholarships may not have been able to achieve their dreams without this kind of support. I congratulate the students and wish them well for their future studies and careers,” Ms Wagner says.

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