Te Aka Whai Ora is investing in local solutions to grow and sustain the health workforce in Horowhenua, including the training of graduates who have previously trained in mātauranga Māori for roles including social workers, family harm clinicians and nurses. 

Raukawa Whānau Ora, a kaupapa Māori health provider delivering a range of healthcare services, has been funded to design and implement a Horowhenua Māori Workforce Development Prototype. 

While it is estimated it will take up to five years to see a change in workforce numbers, this initiative will start growing a new pipeline of kaimahi by developing rangatahi and Raukawa Whānau Ora workers. 

For this initiative, Raukawa Whānau Ora will be providing training to graduates with a strong understanding of tikanga and mātauranga Māori to fill specific health roles needed in Horowhenua. 

Kingi Kiriona, DCE - Mātauranga Māori, says this initiative is an example of how Te Aka Whai Ora is focused on providing tailored local funding that meets the specific needs of communities. 

"To meet health workforce shortages across Aotearoa, it is important that we tailor our solutions," says Kingi.  

"With more courses in Horowhenua offering courses and qualifications related to mātauranga Māori, Raukawa Whānau Ora has an opportunity to secure graduates with knowledge of this innovative, unique knowledge system and way of looking at the world."

"Focusing on growing our numbers and skills of health kaimahi at a local level will result in a stronger and more sustainable workforce, now and in the future."

This funding is aligned with the goals set out in Te Pae Tata interim New Zealand Health Plan to create an inclusive health workforce that reflects the community that it serves.

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