The Cultural Safety Debate in Nursing Education in Aotearoa


  • Irihapeti Ramsden
  • Paul Spoonley



Post Secondary Education


The recent debate about cultural safety highlights the distance between those who seek to retain the practices and values of a colonial past, and those who want to proceed to a post-colonial future. In the present case, the latter group have attempted to alter the education of some health professionals, nurses, by offering a critical understanding of colonial structures and their effects, and by providing an alternative that centres on ethnic sensitivity. In most respects, it has been a modest innovation in nursing education in terms of meeting the goal of tino rangatiratanga in health delivery services for iwi. But the opposition that began in 1992 in Metro Magazine and which reached something of a crescendo from mid-1993 illustrates the reluctance of important sectors of the community to even consider such modest changes an improvement. Indeed, the reverse is the case. Cultural safety has become defined as a politically inspired campaign of subversion which represents the agenda of extremism....


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Author Biographies

Irihapeti Ramsden

Paul Spoonley