Developing the health and disability
Kaiāwhina workforce


Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan

The Ministry of Health and Careerforce Te Toi Pūkenga are working together in partnership to facilitate and support a workforce action plan that focuses on the development of the health and disability Kaiāwhina* workforce.

The Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan framework was co-created with multiple key stakeholders from across the health and disability sector. The framework provides an holistic overview of the necessary elements or domains to build a vibrant and sustainable workforce for this sector. These are: Consumer Focus, Quality & Safety, Access, Workforce Intelligence, Career Development, Workforce Recognition, and Sustainability

The Plan aims to ensure Kaiāwhina are recognised as a valued workforce, supported and enabled on their learning journey to develop their skills and knowledge, to better support consumers of service.

Actions are underpinned by the Consumer Focus principles and Te Tiriti o Waitangi which inform the implementation of the plan.

The Plan is overseen by a Taskforce with membership reflective of the wide number of organisations and agencies committed to the advancement of Kaiāwhina roles and contribution. The work of the Plan is co-ordinated by a Working Group and a Programme Team. The partnership between the Ministry of Health and Careerforce Te Toi Pūkenga is reflected across this structure.

The Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan is a living document which is largely web-based to enable flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness in a fast-changing environment. It recognises that there are work activities occuring in many settings that contribute to the Plan and new activities continue to emerge that have an influence on the Plan Actions.

The 5-Year Action Plan commenced on 1 July 2015.


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

*Kaiāwhina is the over-arching term to describe non-regulated roles in the health and disability sector. The term does not replace the specific title roles, for example: healthcare assistant, orderly, diversional therapist, mental health support worker.