PMA Members Board Director appointed to key leadership role at Auckland DHB

Mr Abel Smith
Director, Pasifika Medical Association Members

Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) Members Board director, Abel Smith, has been appointed the Director of Nursing Pacific at Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) and his focus will be to increase the number of Pacific healthcare workers in the health sector.

Smith started his new role last month at the fourth largest DHB in the country, serving more than 494,000 residents living in the Auckland district.

“This is a strategic role focusing on the Pacific space that consults and works across different areas in the ADHB, not only in the hospital but also in the community space.

For me, the role signifies the ADHB’s commitment to Pacific equity. For nursing in particular, it opens up pathways for Pacific nurses to aspire to, a role that’s for and by the Pacific community.”

Smith immigrated to New Zealand twenty years ago after graduating from the Fiji School of Nursing in 1986 and working as a nurse in Fiji.

He holds many positions of service in nursing and health, including the President of the Fiji Nurses Association NZ, Treasurer of the Pacific Nursing Section and Chair of the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Pacific Nursing Advisory Committee.

Smith says he wants to promote and increase the number of Pacific healthcare professionals entering the health workforce.

“I want to provide opportunities for our people and explore ways that we can increase our workforce and Pacific pathways to improve our health outcomes.”

In a surprise event, the Fiji Nurses Association NZ held a special celebration and  Kava ceremony in Auckland earlier this month to mark Smith’s appointment.

“This is a first and a proud moment that someone who is from, trained and worked in Fiji as a nurse can be appointed to this position.”

#pmafamily Date: Tuesday 30 March 2021