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A new partnership between Nga Pou Mana and Te Puna Ora o Mataatua aims to grow the scale and capacity of the Māori Allied Health workforce across the country. Allied health is most simply explained as health professions outside of nursing and medicine.

Our Chief Executive, Dr Chris Tooley says the two organisations came together based on a common agenda and commitment to whānau, cultural values and kaupapa Māori approaches.

The agreement between Ngā Pou Mana (NPM) and TPOOM was formalised this month. TPOOM will become a matua partner of NPM investing in the ongoing development of the operational capability and capacity of NPM.

The overall result of this, is the growth of the NPM team and therefore the tangata whenua Allied Health Workforce, something Dr Tooley says is much needed for their services.

“Right now our homebased and ACC service has contracts to deliver cares to whānau, but we don’t have the workforce who can provide a kaupapa Māori service in the allied health professions so have to refer out to meet our clients’ needs. We have a high percentage of Māori in our community and a shortage of health services that can meet those cultural needs.”

Tooley says NPM and TPOOM recognise the Māori allied health workforce is a significant gap in our health sector across the country. With a growing elderly and homebase sector, Māori whānau need a growing supply of allied health workforce specialists to deliver cares within their communities from a kaupapa Maori approach. Moreover, in the COVID environment, the health sector is the largest employment sector for our whānau while other parts of the economy are in the process of rebuilding.  

The outcomes NPM and TPOOM are seeking from the partnership are to:

• Support Māori allied health workforce development, particularly across the Bay of Plenty region;
• Work on mutually beneficial strategic, research and service delivery projects and activities;
• Share resources, information, advice and ideas; and
• Support and leverage relationships with other key stakeholders and the NPM membership.

NPM Kaiwhakahaere Roxanne Waru says building the operational capability and capacity is a strategic priority for the organisation.

“NPM are fortunate and grateful for the investment TPOOM are making towards the organisation because it will provide much needed support towards our operational costs that will allow for further growth and development of the membership network. This is a great opportunity for NPM to continue to work towards its strategic goals of transforming Māori health and wellbeing through courageous Māori leadership.

“We look forward to being able to provide more benefits to the membership through this new partnership with TPOOM.”

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