Implementation and Early Outcomes of an Allied Professions Māori & Pacific Workforce Strategy

Dr Molly Kallesen1

1Capital & Coast District Health Board, Wellington, New Zealand

Health outcomes for Māori and Pasifika in Aotearoa New Zealand are markedly worse than for Pākehā (non Māori /Pacific). The New Zealand Health and Disability System is committing itself to meaningful improvements while upholding the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including active participation and partnership. Full participation and partnership includes a health workforce with a cultural makeup reflective of its community, but Allied Professions are a long way from achieving this.

Capital and Coast DHB has developed the AHST Professions Māori & Pacific Workforce Strategy to achieve the following goals:

  • Increase Maori workforce to 11% (baseline 6%)
  • Increase Pacific workforce to 8% (baseline 4%)

The strategy address three priority areas:

  • Encourage and support Māori and Pacific students to choose AHST as a health career
  • Grow and empower our Māori and Pacific workforce
  • Create environments in which Māori and Pasifika can thrive

Activities include:

  • Development of a Māori and Pacific Recruitment Strategy with guidelines to change recruitment practices
  • Increasing access to cultural supervision
  • Cultural sessions in the new graduate programme
  • Development of a Kia Ora Hauora (Māori) student internship
  • Design a career booklet attractive to Māori and Pacific students
  • Improved data collection and quarterly reporting

This presentation will cover the development of the strategy, including the specific pieces of work and results of the first full 6 months.


Molly’s background as a leader of speech therapists instilled her desire to grow and nurture health workforce. Her role as Associate Director of Allied Health – Workforce and Capability now allows her to support the much larger and varied workforces of the allied professions, and to be constantly amazed at the range of skills, passion and commitment in AHST. Cultural safety is an area of continuous growth for Molly and she values the opportunity to contribute to a workforce that can achieve equitable outcomes for its community.

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