Hauora Māori partners across Aotearoa are being funded $1.2 million by Te Aka Whai Ora to design, deliver and implement their own tuakana-teina programmes to support Māori within, and transitioning into, the health workforce. 

Tuakana-teina is a concept that refers to the relationship between an older (tuakana) and a younger (teina) person. Within teaching and learning contexts, this can take a variety of forms such as peer-to-peer, younger to older, older to younger, or able/expert to less able/expert.  

The seven providers who have been awarded funding are Hauora Hokianga, Te Korowai o Ngā Ringa Awhina, Te Puna Ora o Mataatua, Te Whare Hauora o Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Te Hauora Runanga o Wairarapa, Uruuruwhenua Health and Manu Ora.  

They are geographically spread across the country. 

Jade Sewell, Maiaka Tau Piringa, Deputy Chief Executive - Service Development for Te Aka Whai Ora, says it is exciting that work is now underway.  

“This investment will see the development and delivery of programmes to hauora tauira starting their health workforce careers or those wanting to work in health. 

“For example, some of the partners are establishing coaching and supervisory roles to provide academic support or facilitating mātauranga Māori learning with local kaumātua and kuia, while others are providing student placement opportunities and paid internships or delivering foundational courses leading to health careers,” Jade says.  

“The initiative will also grow existing kaimahi capacity and capability, and support those in roles that require mentoring and support. 

This will be seen, for example, through career development opportunities, 1:1 peer support, and the delivery of group wānanga that will support them to specialise in their fields.”  

Jade says that the initiative is in line with Te Pae Tata Interim New Zealand Health Plan to develop a more inclusive future workforce.  

“This funding will support the growth in numbers and diversity of our kaimahi to meet demand, by addressing critical workforce gaps and ensuring workforce pipelines for future growth. 

“Te Aka Whai Ora is leading change in how the system understands and responds to the health and wellbeing needs of whānau. As part of this, Te Aka Whai Ora is contributing to the health reforms by strengthening the workforce and driving urgent solutions to increase Māori participation in the health sector, as called for in Te Pae Tata.”  

The initiative also aligns with the Health Workforce Plan announced by the Government in July, which outlines the current challenges facing New Zealand’s health workforce and the opportunities to address them now and in the future.