The first and formative 5-year Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan 2015-2020 concluded in June 2020, having helped to build an enduring foundation for the future of the Kaiāwhina workforce.

The term ‘Kaiāwhina’ is a taonga (treasure) that embodies the core essence and nature of an essential health and disability workforce that is passionate, resilient, diverse, skilled and committed to supporting wellbeing outcomes, with origins that stem from a desire to create a term to replace demeaning labels such as ‘non-regulated’ or ‘unregulated’.

Led by a partnership between Careerforce and the Ministry of Health, the Kaiāwhina Workforce Taskforce, made up of a broad range of health and disability sector leaders, has provided governance leadership for the delivery of the Plan’s 53 actions. To ensure that the momentum gained continues, the Health Workforce Advisory Board has added their support to this important mahi.

The new programme of work drawn from workforce stakeholders over recent months, has five core priorities that form the framework of the Plan’s focus:

1. Building cultural capability

2. Connecting Kaiāwhina

3. Accelerating new ways of working and eco-system thinking

4. Creating workforce knowledge and data

5. Supplying and developing the workforce

Supporting tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) for this essential workforce, the vision is to amplify the Kaiāwhina voice in the governance and implementation of the Plan for the next period; 2020-2025.

Careerforce CE and co-chair of the Kaiāwhina Workforce Taskforce, Jane Wenman comments “we are delighted to see reference to this important workforce (Kaiāwhina) in the recommendations from the Health and Disability System Review lead by Heather Simpson. It’s another example that Kaiāwhina are now on the radar of sector leaders and seen as being a significant contribution to the wellbeing of New Zealanders”

As New Zealand’s population grows and ages, it is vital that Kaiāwhina continue to be developed and supported to achieve their full potential as members of the interprofessional team. The Plan aims to increase the visibility and profile of this essential workforce as valuable, competent, and integral members of the New Zealand health and disability system.

Wenman adds “Guidance from the workforce itself will be integral to navigating and informing the next part of the Kaiawhina journey, and we hope that we can support Kaiāwhina to step forward to help us”.

Networks to support each priority are being established. We welcome interest from the workforce and other sector stakeholders to help shape and influence the output of Plan’s work. If you would like more information on the Kaiawhina Workforce Action Plan or how to be involved please contact Sarah Jeffares at kaiawhina@careerforce.org.nz

Mā te whiritahi, ka whakatutuki ai ngā pūmanawa ā tāngata

Together weaving the realisation of potential

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