Read the latest news and progress on the action plan
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The success of the Kaiāwhina Plan is just the beginning for this valuable workforce

The Ministry of Health and Careerforce have partnered with the sector to lead out the Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan (the Plan) over the past five years with the goal of increasing the visibility and profile of the Kaiāwhina workforce as valuable, competent, integral members of the New Zealand health and disability system.

Kaiāwhina (non-regulated) roles are essential for supporting health and disability consumers in many different settings.  As New Zealand’s population grows and ages, it is vital that this workforce is developed and supported to achieve their full potential as a member of the interprofessional team.

The word Kaiāwhina reflects the mana of the role as a person who supports, assists and upholds others on their journey.  The determining of the name ‘Kaiāwhina’ as an appropriate over-arching name for this diverse workforce of upwards of 70,000 people, was one of the early achievements of the Plan.  

March 2020

The Kaiāwhina Workforce Programme, overseen by a partnership between the Ministry of Health & Careerforce sets out a 20-year vision and a 5-year action plan (2015-2020) for the development of the health and disability Kaiāwhina workforce.
Download the Action Plan below:
For more information, please refer to the Website

Across the five years of the Plan a 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 grouped across seven core domains. While more work is still required, particularly in regard to improved sector wide information about this workforce, much has been achieved over the period of the plan.

With the current Plan coming to an end in June this year, we are pleased to report that all actions have been either completed or significantly progressed, but this is not the end, merely the end of the beginning for this critical workforce.

Next five years
Work is now underway at the Kaiāwhina Taskforce and Working Group levels to plan for the next five years of activity 2020-2025 to ensure that the momentum gained continues to be built on.  More information about this next phase will be provided in coming newsletters.

Grants to help meet the costs of training

Supporting Access domain action 1.2 Mechanisms exist to enable Kaiāwhina on their learning journeys, we'd like to promote the number of grants and rebates that are available to help meet the costs of attaining some qualifications. Please forward this information onto employers of Kaiāwhina that you think may be eligible.

Mental Health Support Worker Training Grants

The Mental Health Support Workers Training Grant assists students with their tuition fees.  Students enrolled in an eligible certificate in mental health can receive a maximum of $2,000 and diploma trainees can receive up to a maximum of $2,500.

All payments are subject to availability.
These grants are funded by the Ministry of Health and administered by Careerforce.

For more information, download the flyer, or visit the Careerforce website.

Te Pou Training Grants for the Disability Sector

These grants are available to assist employers with the costs of training at a national certificate or diploma level. Applications are received throughout the year.
Contact Te Pau

Le Va Mental Health and Addiction Scholarships 

These scholarships are specifically for Pasifika trainees and include fees, expenses and mentoring support.
Contact Le Va

Hauora Maori Training Fund

The Hauora Māori Training Fund has been developed for the Kaiāwhina/unregulated Māori health and disability workforce.  The funding can be used when attending a training programme to complete a relevant qualification to support delivery of health and disability services to Māori.
Contact the Ministry of Health

Massive recognition of the Kaiāwhina workforce

In 2014, the Kaiāwhina workforce was rarely acknowledged in policy, planning or research. Five years later they are now specifically mentioned in relevant national health and disability strategies, workforce plans, policy and research.

The following documents each provide evidence of this uptake and recognition of the Kaiāwhina workforce and in many instances also reference the Plan. Each instance reaffirms the importance of the Kaiāwhina workforce and the progress that leadership has achieved.

Click on each image to view the documents.

The Kaiāwhina Workforce Programme is overseen by a partnership between Ministry of Health and Careerforce.

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