Strengthening the Māori workforce across all areas of health and palliative care services will have many benefits. Many of our hospices, DHBs and community services have already employed Māori in designated roles to help strengthen and improve the delivery of their services to Māori whānau. Some have engaged Māori cultural experts to assist staff to develop their cultural competencies so that they can engage more effectively with Māori whānau and practice in a way that is supportive of whānau cultural values and customs.

A Māori GP spoke about the necessity of increasing the Māori health workforce:

I think the more Māori [health and social care workforce] we have, the more- I don’t even think you have to be Māori, I just think you have to understand, understand where people are coming from… and what they have lived through. And I think Māori, you know we get that without even having to delve deep down, we just understand that. So, having more Māori in front of Māori… is a good thing. It’s not going to solve everything, but I think that’s important.

Māori staff bring a wealth of knowledge and experience with them, but we need to look after them. Māori working in their own communities are able to

Recommendations

For health and palliative care professionals we recommend you:

  • Increase your understanding of the older person’s social circumstances and cultural identity, and how this influences the way kaumātua and whānau manaaki experience illness and medical interventions (including treatment). This is essential to working effectively with Māori.

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