Enhancing the Māori health workforce: Preparing and supporting Māori to gain tertiary qualifications

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Although there have been significant gains there is still a compelling need for increasing Māori participation in the New Zealand health and disability workforce. The advantage of developing the workforce encompasses more than the health sector and extends to providing social and economic benefits for Māori whānau. This presentation is based on the findings of my master’s thesis which outlines a best practice framework “Te Rau Puawai o te kawakawa o te ora” for supporting and fostering Māori students to successfully gain a health related tertiary qualification. In this qualitative study, grounded in a kaupapa Māori framework, I examined the Te Rau Puawai Workforce 100 programme, and it’s mentoring and support mechanisms for Māori students. Students were enrolled in either an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification, were studying part-time or full-time, and were either enrolled as internal or extramural students at a University. A purposeful sample of 6 stakeholders participated in semi-structured interviews that were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis. Three major themes emerged: Theme 1: Tikanga Māori, Theme 2: Multiple Supports and; Theme 3: Ensuring Success The framework “Te Rau Puawai o te kawakawa o te ora” has the potential to translate research into Māori health gains and progress the link between research, policy, and practice around workforce development. This presentation will focus on the findings emerging from the theme of ‘multiple supports’.