Te Rau Matatini, the national centre of Māori health and workforce development, hopes the survey will provide a much-needed baseline of the Māori health workforce.

It is calling for all paid Māori health staff working in non-government organisations, district health boards, primary health organisations, and private health services to take part.

Pouwhakahaere matua (chief executive) Maria Baker said the last workforce survey was done over a decade ago.

“There has been an ongoing conversation and concern about the lack of data about Māori working in health. There has been sector or employee surveys, but not really a broad one that covers the entire workforce like this does.”

She said the country’s health system aimed to do better for the population groups who did not enjoy the same health as all New Zealanders.

“This group includes Māori. Improving the health of Māori will include tailored services, so they are more accessible and delivered in more culturally appropriate ways.”

Last year, Te Rau Matatini “crunched” some of the data and current literature, but found it lacking.

Baker said it was estimated that there were about 14,000 Māori working across the health sector.

“But we really don’t know. Ethnicity data hasn’t really been gathered correctly or been understood.”

The short online survey – Te Iti Me Te Rahi: Everyone Counts – will ask participants about career pathways, studying, and career plans, among other questions.

“We want to know who are they and what are they up to, where do our people love working within the health sector.”

Baker said the survey would also ask whether people’s te reo Māori and understanding of tikanga was valued.

“Māori people working in health are really important to Māori, and non-Māori, health and wellbeing. We need to grow and develop our Māori health workers for the betterment of our people.”

It is hoped the survey will be held every three years to track the progress of Māori health workforce initiatives and government commitment.

“With limited data it is really hard to determine those things. We want to be able to know exactly how we can recruit and retain our workforce.”

Baker said within the first ten days of the survey opening, 500 people had taken part.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing what comes from it, and sharing what we find out.”

Results from the survey will be reported back to stakeholders, including health boards, Ngā Pou Mana, participating registration bodies, and non-government organisations.

The survey will remain open until September and can be found here.

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