Growing the Māori palliative care workforce

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 saftey 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 importance of having more Māori working within the 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.


For health and palliative care services we recommend you:

  • Prioritise the employment, training and support of Māori staff to work within palliative and end of life care.
  • For existing Māori staff, strengthen their clinical and cultural knowledge and skills in palliative and end of life care.
  • Ensure the provision of ongoing clinical and cultural support for Māori staff.

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