In New Zealand Māori are under-represented in the workforce across multiple sectors. This thesis explores this incongruity with regard to Māori health. A Māori perspective and philosophical foundation formed the basis of the methodological approach, utilising a case study research design to inform the study. This provided the opportunity to explore Māori health workforce development initiatives and their potential to contribute to improvements and gains in Māori health.
It was important that this work take into account social and economic factors and their impact on health, as well as the varying political climates of market oriented reform and a fiscal policy focus, because it has not only challenged Māori health development but also provided opportunities for increased Māori involvement and participation in health and New Zealand society. Therefore the thesis, while focused on health takes cognisance of and, coincides with the capacity and capability building efforts that have been a feature of overall Māori development, progress and advancement.
In the context of this thesis Māori health workers are seen as leaders within their whānau, hapū, iwi, and Māori communities. Consequently a potential workforce that is strong and powerful can lead to anticipated gains in Māori health alongside other Māori movements for advancement. The potential cannot be under-estimated.
This thesis argues that there are critical success factors, specific determinants, influencing Māori health workforce potential, and that these success factors have wider application. Therefore, as this thesis suggests Māori workforce development, especially in relationship to the health workforce, is dependent on effective Māori leadership, the application of Māori values to workplace practices, levels of resourcing that are compatible with training and development, critical mass, and targeted policies and programmes.