Building a future of Māori healthcare workers

By Muriwai Hei

A hui in Wellington this week has been targeting a new generation of Māori healthcare workers to improve Māori health inequities.

More than 100 youth were at the event, "He Manu Korokī" from all corners of the country.

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Raki Paewhenua student Bheyana Hollans  says she came to the gathering because of the saying "for Māori by Māori".

“I am one of three kids at my school who want to be in the medical field and since this is a health programme, I felt that this would be the best just to experience more because this is a Māori environment, and I do best in Māori environments."

Kia Ora Hauora has a priority focus to increase Māori employment in district health boards to reflect their local populations by 2025. This means 6,500 new Māori health workers in the next seven years across the health sector.

Kia Ora Hauora engages with Māori students, current health workers, and community members seeking a career in health. It promotes health careers, both clinical and non-clinical. Its information hub provides knowledge, tools, and resources to students started on a health career pathway.

More than 4,000 youth have registered for  Kia Ora Hauora and 60% of them are tertiary students.  Kia Ora Hauora plans to help more Māori youth enter the health workforce.

"We know by investing in our rangatahi that it's a great investment in terms of future-proofing our future workforce and addressing and alleviating and actually addressing the Maori health inequities that exist," coordinator Cazna Luke says.