The kaiāwhina term embodies the core essence of a workforce that is passionate, resilient, diverse, skilled and committed to supporting hauora (holistic wellbeing) outcomes of all in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Mā te āwhina, e ora ai te torohū o te kaiāwhina.
Nurturing the limitless potential of the kaiāwhina workforce.
The term ‘kaiāwhina’ is a taonga (treasure) that embodies the core essence and nature of an essential workforce that is passionate, resilient, diverse, skilled and committed to supporting hauora (holistic wellbeing) outcomes. Its origins stem from a desire to create a term to replace demeaning labels such as the ‘non-regulated’ or ‘unregulated’ health and disability workforce.
The establishment of the Kaiāwhina Taskforce with wide health and disability sector engagement has meant a single point of overarching stewardship for Plan including co-sponsorship of the Ministry of Health Workforce and Careerforce and Consumer engagement on Taskforce and into the Plan.
A Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) which reviewed a range of Level 2 – 6 Health and Wellbeing qualifications, on the NZQA qualification framework supported the formal recognition of competencies and transferrable skills.
New qualifications and programmes have been developed that support real career pathways for kaiāwhina workers. These include the Apprenticeships in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4), Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5), Certificates and Diplomas in Māturanga Māori/ Whānau Ora [Levels 3-6] together with the Diploma in Leadership and Management (Level 5)
The Equal Pay Settlement (2017), In-between Travel Settlement (2014), Guaranteed Hours Settlement (2017) and Mental Health & Addictions Support Workers Settlement (2018) contribute to more equitable outcomes for kaiāwhina.
During the COVID-19 response there was a gradual raising of profile and recognition of value contribution. Increasingly there has been an inclusion of kaiāwhina by name and function in Ministry of Health policy documents, workforce plans and the Health & Disability Systems Review Report.
Health Quality Safety Commission now features prominent inclusion of kaiāwhina information, resources and tools as section on its website
A kaiāwhina e-newsletter and website provides update on progress with the kaiāwhina workforce plan.
Establishment of Kaiāwhina Workforce Intelligence Network and production of seminal document on ANZSCO as it applies to the Kaiāwhina care and support workforce.
AUT Research to understand the impact of the pay equity settlement on the Care and Support workforce and managers, to highlight positive progress as well as unintended consequences to address.
Are you in a care or support worker role? Here you’ll find information about how you can
get involved in the Kaiāwhina Workforce Plan and network with others. You can also
find information on careers, training, qualifications and job opportunities for care and support work. We also share some stories from people who work in these rewarding and fulfilling roles.
Congratulations to Cathy Cooney, Independent Facilitator of the Kaiāwhina Workforce Plan, who was made a member of the New Zealand order of merit in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Industry Training Organisation, Careerforce developed a campaign aimed at promoting career pathways in care and support, and attract greater workforce diversity.
The first and formative 5-year Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan 2015-2020 concluded in June 2020, having helped to build an enduring foundation for the future of the kaiāwhina workforce.
We’ll use this information to keep you up to date with progress, call for consultation and request feedback.