Ngāti Kahungungu, Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Koata, Ngāti Toa
Jamesina was born and raised on D’urville Island, (Rangitoto ki te taonga), located north west of Wellington until she was nine years old during the late 1930’s and 1940s. Her whakapapa is to the Elkington and Hippolite whanau, she is one of the younger of fourteen children who grew up in a traditional whanau oriented community. D’urville Island provided an environment of typical Island life, of nature and health with an early introduction to rongoa. Following the death of her sister in Wellington, the whanau moved to Porirua, where they lost her mother (Huitau Mere Meha) soon after. Jamesinas father (James Elkington) and brothers were builders, so as a whanau they travelled New Zealand whilst the men completed various jobs, one of which involved the building of Temple View- Mormon Chapel and Church College.
Jamesinas early employment experience with her cousin at Eveready Batteries, was short lived, so Jamesina called Porirua Hospital for a job, where her older sisters Olive, Rangikauea and Huia were Nurses.
Jamesina commenced her psychiatric nursing training at Porirua Hospital, and then went onto Ngawhatu Hospital (Nelson) where she completed her junior state exam, and later completed her psychiatric nursing qualification at Tokanui Hospital.
Jamesinas experience in nursing care spanned various hospitals and regions. Following Ngawhatu in Nelson, Jamesina returned to whanau in Porirua, and worked at the Kimberley psychopaedic hospital in Levin. She travelled to be near her father in Waikato and worked at Kingseat Hospital (Karaka, Auckland), and thereafter Jamesina worked for three years at Burwood Girls Juvenile Home in the South Island.
In the 1970’s, Jamesina worked at Tokanui Hospital where she was charge nurse of the psychopaedic ward. Whilst at Tokanui hospital, Jamesina became involved in Te Roopu Awhina o Tokanui who were instrumental in the development of Whaiora. She was one of the first members of Te Kaunihera o ngā neehi Māori (National Council of Māori Nurses) that were motivated by a challenge to Māori Nurses to do more from Minister Matiu Rata at the Hui Taumata, Auckland in 1984.
During the deinstitutionalisation period of Tokanui Hospital, Jamesina helped to transition people into the community, and supported the development of Hauora Waikato, which was viewed as an inspirational one stop shop of health services for Māori.
Hospital based nursing had transitioned to Polytechnic based nursing programmes, whilst Jamesina worked as a case manager for Tokanui Hospital, Jamesina got involved in Waikato Polytechnic Tihewa Mauri Ora Māori nursing programme with Becky Fox. Jamesina was a founding member of Whārangi Ruamano Māori Nurses National Educators Group and she continues to contribute to nursing as the kuia for the Whitireia Bachelor Nursing (Māori) programme, Wellington. Jamesina received Whetū Kanapa Award by Te Ao Māramatanga for her contribution to Māori mental health nursing in 2012.