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Waitematā DHB moves to grow its Māori workforce

Waitematā DHB is thought to be the first district health board in the country to create a role designed specifically to recruit more Māori into its workforce.

Charlene Macrae, who is affiliated with Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Kahungunu, ki Wairoa, has been appointed to fill the new Māori Workforce Recruitment Consultant position.

She will help develop ways to incorporate kaupapa Māori into the recruitment process for Māori who are considering working for Waitematā DHB.

“This role is an amazing opportunity to get more Māori to choose health as a career option and to choose Waitematā DHB,” Charlene says.

The new role is part of Waitematā DHB’s ongoing commitment to improve Māori health outcomes and to ensure its staff mix better represents the community that it serves.

“Having one person looking at the recruitment process to support the experience of our people coming through is incredibly positive,” Charlene says. “It will allow that person to feel what I felt when I started here – a sense of belonging, a sense of connectedness and a sense of being proud to be Māori.”

The population Waitematā DHB serves is 630,000 with 7,500 staff. Waitematā DHB Director of Human Resources Fiona McCarthy says multiple initiatives are in place to try and boost the number of Māori in the DHB’s workforce.

“Waitematā DHB is also the lead for the national Kia Ora Hauora Programme which supports more Māori into health careers,” says Fiona. “This latest development is another example of our commitment to equity.”

Waitematā DHB chief advisor tikanga Dame Naida Glavish says recruiting more Māori staff will help to address inequities and barriers for Māori in the health system.

“Increasing our Māori health workforce will significantly strengthen our capability to provide safe and effective services to our whole community,” she says.

Charlene says encouraging more Māori into the health workforce will be positive for everyone.

“We hope that transforming our recruitment will not only provide a better experience for Māori applicants but have a domino effect through to other workforces and also into staff retention and patient experience,” she says. “This work sits at the heart of the DHB’s values of compassion, everyone matters and cultural diversity. By revisioning our processes, we move towards equity for Māori and everyone benefits.”

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