Media Release: Scholarships support the development of a diverse health workforce.

Scholarship recipients

Thursday 8 June 2023

Scholarships support the development of a diverse health workforce.


Pegasus Health invites media to attend their 22nd annual Workforce Development Scholarship ceremony at Tūranga (Christchurch Main Library) tonight at 5.30pm.

The Pegasus Health Workforce Development Scholarship was launched in 2001 to support the development of a diverse health workforce for Canterbury. Pegasus continues this commitment in 2023 by awarding 15 scholarships to students from a range of health disciplines. Scholarship recipients must be working towards medicine, nursing or allied health degrees and come from a Māori, Pacific or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background.

“Having a diverse health workforce is key to creating more equitable health outcomes for all,” Pegasus Health Director of Hauora Māori and Equity, Irihāpeti Mahuika, says. “Our Māori, Pasifika and refugee and migrant communities face a number of challenges when accessing health care in Waitaha, and we know that having people who share their culture and who have faced many of the same challenges can help break down those barriers.”

Final year nursing student, and 2023 scholarship recipient, Kirstyn Macdonald, knows first-hand the the challenges Māori experience. “As a young Māori mother, I experienced discrimination from health care services and as a result I was afraid of judgment when attending the Well Child Checks which is crucial for monitoring your pēpi’s growth and development,” Kirstyn says.

“Unfortunately, I’m not alone in experiencing discrimination from health care services. Discrimination is a contributing factor to why Māori have poorer health outcomes.” This has motivated Kirstyn to study nursing, so she can have an active role in improving health disparities in Māori health.

For media queries:

Sarah Carnoutsos, Communications Manager


Mobile: 027 472 7113


About Pegasus Health

Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd is the largest Primary Health Organisation in Waitaha Canterbury. Pegasus Health is commited to improving the health outcomes for the people of Waitaha Canterbury through innovation in service design, delivery, collaboration with partners and continuous improvement. Pegasus Health supports General Practices and community-based health providers within Canterbury to deliver quality health care, to more than 445,000 enrolled patients.