Profiling the Māori Health Workforce

by J Sewell


Capable and competent Māori health workers are pivotal to providing appropriate care to Māori and their whānau, and providing mainstream organisations with examples of innovative best practice models for reaching and providing for Māori and their whānau (Baker, 2017; Ministry of Health, 2005). Māori health workforce development operates at the intersection between health policy, Māori health care trends, and wider government social and economic policies. To improve sound Māori health planning, increasing the capacity of Māori to plan ahead in a comprehensive manner is essential. Further, Māori need to be actively leading the process, or the focus will remain on sectors or areas outside of Māori frameworks and control(Maxwell-Crawford, 2011).

To this end, accurate and timely data is extremely important to support informed decisions. Comprehensive Māori-led research published in 2007, Rauringa Raupa: Recruitment and Retention of Māori in the Health and Disability Workforce (Ratima et al., 2007) highlighted that for accurate reporting on the number of Māori in health and disability occupational groups or training at tertiary institutions it is important that ethnicity data collected by the various sources are accurate, comprehensive, consistent and continuously recorded and updated. Further, a key recommendation of that study was to improve the quality and scope of Māori health and disability workforce data collection, management and reporting and strengthen Māori health and disability workforce research in order to inform decision-making and action.

Although data intelligence issues have been well documented (Ratima et al., 2007; see also Ministry of Health, 2006), as recently as 2014Health Workforce New Zealand (Ministry of Health, 2014b) identified that inaccurate and unreliable data collections are still an issue across the health and disability sector. Issues include data that is summarised, inconsistent, out-of-date or collected ad hoc. It is noted that data for the aged care and non-regulated workforces are particularly scarce.

With these issues identified, a review of current literature was undertaken to understand what data is currently available regarding the Māori health and disability workforce. This report describes the data sources and uses the information to provide a brief current profile of the Māori health and disability workforce. Gaps are identified and recommendations have been provided in light of the literature review findings.

ISBN978-1-98-850100-0 (Electronic)
CITATIONCitation: Sewell, J. (2017). Profiling the Māori health workforce 2017.