Maori PH workforce development: Te Uru Kahikatea
Maori public health workforce development is a priority of Te Uru Kahikatea; the Public Health Workforce Development Plan (TUK). One of the overarching priorities of TUK is to improve Maori health and address the health disparities between Maori and non-Maori.
Inequalities in the distribution of, and access to, material resources - income, education, employment and housing - are the primary cause of Maori health inequalities. Maori have poorer health status than non-Maori.
To address these health inequalities, the public health workforce must be responsive to the needs of Maori in our communities, particularly the public health needs of Maori. Using culturally appropriate and prove health promotion and health protection strategies will assist.
The Maori public health workforce must be grown and strengthened and the non-Maori workforce must equip themselves to be more responsive to Maori health need.
Baseline survey of Maori public health workforce
There is limited information available on the Maori public health workforce. A baseline survey of the Maori workforce working in Ministry of Health funded public health organisations was done by Phoenix Research in 2004.
This snapshot survey showed that Maori comprise around 30% of the surveyed public health workforce.
Although 30% is a relatively high proportion of Maori, Maori are unevenly represented across the public health workforce and are often concentrated in less senior roles and also in less well-paid positions; for example, in the community worker, health promotion and health education fields (the non-regulated public health workforce).
Te Uru Kahikatea: Goal 1, Objective 2
Te Uru Kahikatea: The Public Health Workforce Development Plan (TUK) has two overarching public health goals and nine objectives. Goal 1, objective 2 outlines specific actions for Maori health workforce development.
Note that advancing Maori workforce development priorities is through other eight TUK objectives is vital.
TUK Goal 1:
Develop an effective and sustainable public health workforce.
TUK Objective 2:
Strengthen the Maori public health workforce and the capability of the non-Maori workforce to improve Maori health and reduce inequalities.
TUK Action 2.1:
Develop a planned and strategic approach, and an implementation plan, to:
- Strengthen the Maori public health workforce
- Increase the capability of the non-Maori workforce to improve Maori health and reduce inequalities
This work requires appropriate advice and the identification of strategies to support the public health workforce to more effectively address the health needs of Maori.
To achieve Action 2.1 of Objective 2, the Ministry of Health commissioned Te Rau Matatini to develop E Ara Tauwhaiti Whakarae; a Maori public health workforce development framework and implementation plan details the specific actions that will influence Maori public health workforce development over the next five years. Background documents for E Ara Tauwhaiti Whakarae include:
TUK Action 2.2:
Maximise opportunities in all the other TUK objectives to further Maori public health workforce priorities by:
Maori public health workforce development action plan
Te Uru Kahikatea: 2009 Annual Workplan
Te Uru Kahikatea: Six Monthly Outcomes Report June 2009