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Govt to invest $12.2 Million into Maori health

30 June 2008 Media Statement

Government to invest $12.2 Million into Maori health and disability workforce

Associate Minister of Health Mita Ririnui announced the Governments plan to inject $12.2 million into the Maori health and disability workforce at the Inaugural National Maori Workforce Development Hui in Rotorua last week.

“Under Budget 2008, the Government has committed $12.2 Million for Maori health workforce development – to focus on developing, improving and maintaining Maori nurses and midwives within the community.”

According to Minister Ririnui the funding will be spent on various projects which will focus on improving existing, and fund new workforce development initiatives for nurses and midwives.

“Essentially the funding will focus on developing highly skilled nurses and midwives as well as encouraging rangatahi to choose nursing or midwifery as a career.”

Government has had a long standing priority to reduce the inequalities in Maori health compared to that of non-Maori and focusing on improving the Maori health and disability workforce is a broad initiative to bridge those gaps.

Minister Ririnui also recognised the fantastic effort being made by current Maori health providers stating that it is through these services at the grass roots level that the goals of the Government are being delivered.

“We have a number of Maori health providers through out the country who are delivering successful health services to their respective communities.”

“I am proud to see that these providers are extremely competitive and robust within the health sector. We have gotten to the point where Maori are now in the business of health – and we are successful.”

New programmes to be implemented include:

Nursing Career Leadership programme: Establish leadership forums across the Maori nursing sector to develop leadership training, to discuss leadership practices and to assist career progression for Maori nurse leaders

Academic Literacy Programme: A tailored programme to be developed with Manukau Institute of Technology that supports Maori Registered Nurses to progress on their career pathway by assisting with academic writing and professional development skills.

Otago University – Health as a Career with a focus on nursing: The Whakapiki Ake Project, which operates currently in the North Island, targeting 31 schools. It supports students to complete the Certificate in Health Science (which prepares Maori and Pacific Island students for tertiary study). This funding will support a similar programme to be rolled out in the South Island by the University of Otago.

ENDS


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