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Maori health and disability workforce plan

Media Release

18 May 2005

Call for feedback on Mäori health and disability workforce plan

The Ministry of Health wants feedback on a new plan aimed at building the Mäori health and disability workforce over the next 10 to 15 years.

Ministry of Health Deputy Director-General of Mäori Health Ria Earp said today it was important people had their say on the Raranga Tupuake: Mäori Health Workforce Development Plan Discussion Document, because it would guide the future development of the Mäori health and disability workforce.

``Mäori remain under-represented in the health workforce in almost all areas of the health sector. We know there is a real need to improve this -- capable and competent Mäori health workers are crucial to providing appropriate care to Mäori and their whänau,'' Ms Earp said.

``Increasing the number and level of training of Mäori in the health and disability workforce, as well as further developing the Mäori provider community will help improve Mäori access to services, as well as the effectiveness of both mainstream and Mäori provider services.''

Mäori represent about 15 percent of New Zealand's population but are estimated to make up only five percent of the health workforce, excluding informal support workers and alternative complementary health practitioners. Kaiawhina and community health workers are an important part of our workforce and Mäori are well represented in these groups.

Raranga Tupuake focuses on increasing the number of Mäori in the workforce at all levels, expanding the skill base of Mäori currently in the workforce and enabling equitable access for Mäori to future training opportunities.

The Ministry will hold a series of hui around the country as part of the discussion document consultation process. The hui will be in Auckland (June 8), Paihia (June 10), Rotorua (June 15), Hawke's Bay (June 17), Christchurch (June 22), Wanganui (June 24) and Wellington (June 27).

All submissions on the Raranga Tupuake: Mäori Health Workforce Development Plan Discussion Document are due by 5pm, Friday 8 July. The final workforce development plan will be released after consultation and analysis of submissions.

The Raranga Tupuake: Mäori Health Workforce Development Plan Discussion Document can be viewed at www.moh.govt.nz

ENDS

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