Pātiki and Waharua Kōpito patterns

Te Aka Whai Ora fund encourages students into Māori healthcare

6 April 2023 News
Whatu Tāniko pattern

Te Aka Whai Ora is supporting more Māori into health and disability careers with the opening of Te Pitomata – The Power of Potential fund this week.

“We are at the beginning of a new era in health so it’s an exciting time to choose a career in the health workforce. Our kaimahi Māori are at the forefront to address opportunities in the health workforce and support the expansion of te ao Māori solutions,” Te Aka Whai Ora Chair Tipa Mahuta says.

Te Pitomata has been redeveloped to allow more students equitable access to a grant regardless of the health field that are studying as they all have equal value in improving health outcomes for our people. It refocuses on a shared goal to increase Māori in the health and disability sector rather than individual scholarship while nearly tripling the investment of the previous Hauora Māori scholarship.   

Research conducted in November told us previos students needed more financial assistance for course and living related expenses such as rent, tuition fees, course books and travel costs and those costs had risen significantly in recent years to the detriment of student wellbeing. 

“It is one of several Te Aka Whai Ora workforce initiatives being developed to see Māori voices and hauora expertise at every level of our new health system. Together we are building a sustainable health system that better serves our communities – supports and grows the healthcare workforce, addresses current inequities and improves health outcomes,” Tipa says.

Riana Manuel, Chief Executive Officer, Te Aka Whai Ora says, “The grant will support tauira to realise their moemoea and leverage their own potential, to ensure a workforce that is aligned with the needs and aspirations of our people.   

Te Aka Whai Ora is here to support our people to become the next generation of health leaders who will empower our people and put their well-being back in their hands," Riana says. 

The programme has been named Te Pitomata - The Power of Potential, which aligns to the pūrākau narrative utilised for the development of both the names of Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora.  

Eligible students must currently be enrolled in a programme of study and can apply under the following five hauora categories: 

  • Midwifery 
  • Allied Health, Scientific & Technical (such as Pharmacy, Oral Health Therapy, Anaesthetic Tech, Radiation Therapy) 
  • Nursing 
  • Medical (such as Dentistry, General Practice) 
  • Corporate (such as Management, Human resources, Accountancy).