Health Workforce Strategic Framework development

Developing a common understanding of health workforce challenges and opportunities

The health workforce is an integral part of the health system, no health service can be delivered, no person cared for, no health outcome achieved, without people.

People are our greatest asset and the enabler to improving the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders. 

Manatū Hauora, Te Whatu Ora, and Te Aka Whai Ora have begun work to alleviate some of the pressures on health workers in the immediate term. These actions were announced by the Minister of Health, the Hon Andrew Little, on 1 August 2022. A Workforce Taskforce has also been established to agree the key priority interventions where service failure is at risk.

While these actions provide short-term relief to our people and system, there is further work to be done to build a sustainable health workforce for the future.

Manatū Hauora is developing a long-term health workforce strategy to guide system settings and ensure New Zealand has a sustainable, representative and responsive health workforce that can meet the future needs of people and whānau.  The long-term health workforce strategy will align with the New Zealand Health Strategy and support system shifts towards pae ora (healthy futures). 

Health Workforce Engagement 

The first step in this process has been to identify and prioritise the key changes to support health workforce. To support this, Manatū Hauora has utilised a variety of channels to ensure maximum participation from health workers and sector representatives from across Aotearoa. Engagement activities included a one-day in-person event, an online platform, a webinar series and visits to a number of localities across the country. 

The issues and ideas captured through these channels helped to identify, prioritise and collectively agree to steps to address the challenges facing the health workforce in the reformed health system.


Manatū Hauora set up an online engagement platform Tātou as a channel for the health workforce to submit ideas around workforce challenges and opportunities. People could discuss, support and challenge ideas that had been submitted.   These contributions will help us better understand the issues and identify solutions or opportunities. The Health Workforce Challenge closed on 30 November 2022, however the ideas provided will remain available for viewing.

View the conversation on Tātou

Health workforce webinar series 

Manatū Hauora set up a series of webinars to support conversations with senior leaders from Manatū Hauora, Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora on health workforce initiatives. People were able to hear directly from senior leaders and participate in Q&As. 

  • 1 November Te Whatu Ora led a discussion on the short- to medium-term workforce initiatives. 
  • 7 November Te Aka Whai Ora and the Māori Health Directorate led a hui on challenges and opportunities for the Māori Health workforce.
  • 10 November Manatū Hauora led a discussion on the role of Manatū Hauora in the new system, potential legislative and regulatory changes, and the development of the strategic framework.

View recordings*, transcriptions, presentations and unanswered questions from the webinars below.

* Due to technical issues, the Māori Health workforce webinar was not recorded. However, speech notes from the discussion are available below. 

Māori Health workforce webinar - 7 November 2022

Health Workforce Dialogue Event

The Health Workforce Dialogue was held at Parliament on 12 November 2022. This enabled a diverse group of health workforce representatives across Aotearoa to come together, hear from each other about the challenges they face and opportunities they see for change.  

There were more than 200 attendees made up of frontline health workers, health sector employers, representatives from responsible authorities, professional bodies, and tertiary education providers. 

The Minister of Health and senior leaders from health agencies outlined the work that is being done to address the short-medium term challenges. Facilitated workshop sessions allowed attendees to discuss and prioritise workforce challenges, ideas and opportunities. 

View recordings of the keynote speeches, question and answer sessions and some participant feedback below.

Keynote speeches

Use the playlist button on the top right corner of the video player to list all of the speech videos.


Use the playlist button on the top right corner of the video player to list all of the interview videos.

Next steps

The insights collected from the engagement to date will be used to inform development of the Health Workforce Strategy. The insights are also being considered as part of the prioritisation of workforce initiatives by the joint Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora Workforce Taskforce.  

The Health Workforce Strategy will identify the system level changes required to ensure Aotearoa has a sustainable, representative and responsive health workforce that can meet the future needs of people and whānau. Some of these system level changes may require a review of legislation that impacts the way health professions are enabled to deliver care, or a review of the pathways from training and education through to employment to ensure we attract and retain the health workforce of the future.  

Further engagement and opportunities to provide feedback on the Health Workforce Strategy will occur in 2023 through a variety of channels including on the Manatū Hauora website and online platform, Tātou.  

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