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Source: New Zealand Government

Budget 2022 will deliver 1900 new health workers and will support 2700 more students into training programmes through a $76 million investment to continue to grow the health workforce for our Māori and Pacific communities, Associate Ministers of Health Peeni Henare and Aupito William Sio announced today.

“This Budget specifically invests in resetting our health system and gives economic security in good times and in bad. For Māori, this means reforming our health system so whānau are able to consistently meet their health needs,” Peeni Henare said.

“This funding is an important step towards building a more diverse and sustainable pathway into health for Māori and Pacific people, and it also ensures that as our health workforce grows it reflects the communities it serves.

“This investment will start to bring new people into the workforce where training can happen faster, such as for kaiāwhina, and for those who have already undertaken some health training, as well as ensuring we’re continuing to invest in more training for the longer term.”

“We’re also starting the build-up of our Pacific workforces, with investments to build on the successes we have had in responding to COVID-19 and help transition Pacific people in COVID-19 roles into day-to-day roles in the health system,” Aupito William Sio said.

“It includes 100 extra training places over 4 years and 100 places to grow additional workforces focused on implementing the ‘Addressing the Burden of Diabetes in Pacific communities’ initiative and helping our Pacific communities to address the burden of diabetes many of our families face.”

“This initiative will also support the rollout of comprehensive primary care teams over the next four years, ensuring that communities across the motu can get access to a wider range of services close to home. We want to grow our workforce in delivering that care, not just draw from other parts of the system which are already under strain,” Peeni Henare said.

“It also ensures that our Māori workforce – which has been long underrepresented in a range of health professions – can be bolstered, working in partnership with iwi and Māori communities.

“To reform our health care system, we need our people to become part of it. Budget 2022 provides Māori and Pacific people with a pathway to becoming part of a health system that better serves the communities they belong to,” Peeni Henare said.