Developing the health and disability
Kaiāwhina workforce


Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan come about?

There is a compelling call for action to ensure that New Zealand has a sustainable health and disability workforce for the future given the increasing demand for services as the population grows and ages, and as models of care move closer to home, become more integrated, and new models emerge. A core part of this workforce will be fulfilled by Kaiāwhina – the non-regulated care and support workforce in the health and disability sector.

Why is the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan important?

Having a well prepared, supported and fit for purpose workforce ready to respond to the needs of people is critical for sustainable health and disability services into the future. The wide range of roles within the Kaiāwhina workforce, which represents more than a third of the health and disability workforce, is an essential component of integrated health provision and disability support to enable good lives. The Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan goal is to build such a workforce and to have this workforce accepted and valued as an essential part of the integrated team.

Who is involved in the Plan?

In late 2013, the Ministry of Health and Careerforce committed to a 20-year vision to build a strengths-based transformational approach to advance the role and contribution of Kaiāwhina as valued members within the health and disability system: A Kaiāwhina workforce that adds value to the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders by being competent, adaptable and an integral part of service provision.

This included the provision of learning and development pathways to ensure Kaiāwhina have the required skills, knowledge and attributes to respond to current and emerging roles, and to also ensure opportunities are provided in an accessible manner for Kaiāwhina to attain this learning.

To achieve this vision an initial five-year plan was developed following extensive consultation. In 2014 the Kaiāwhina Workforce Taskforce was established to provide over-arching governance to the Plan. A Working Group and Programme team coordinate the progress of the Plan’s actions and report through to the Taskforce.

What is unique about the Plan?

One of the greatest strengths of the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan is that it was co-created and is being implemented, by multiple owners in the aged care, home and community, mental health and addictions, and disability sectors across private, non-government organisations, district health boards, and government settings.

These owners are collectively invested in progressing this workforce for the benefit of consumers, the Kaiāwhina themselves and the New Zealand health and disability system as a whole.