Mental health and addiction workforce development

Workforce development is a priority for the Ministry.

Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) has overall responsibility for planning and developing the health workforce to ensure a strong and capable health workforce to meet demand. HWNZ funds a national infrastructure to develop and support the health workforce and this involves supporting district health boards, non-governmental organisations and other service.

HWNZ funds the following organisations to undertake workforce development activities to improve outcomes for those with mental health and addiction needs.

  • Te Rau Matatini is the national centre for Māori Workforce Development and aims to enhance Māori health outcomes and strengthen, develop and grow the Māori workforce.
  • Werry Workforce Whāraurau is part of Uniservices and is focused on improving mental health and wellbeing for infants, children and young people through service improvement, workforce development and advocacy. The Whāraurau team works closely with the Werry Centre for Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health which is an academic centre in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland.
  • Te Pou te Whakaaro Nui (Te Pou) is the national centre of evidence based workforce development for the mental health, addiction and disability sectors in New Zealand.
  • Matua Raki is part of Te Pou and is the national centre for addiction workforce development.
  • Le Va is the national centre for Pacific mental health and addiction workforce development.
  • Te Rau Puawai is focused on Māori mental health workforce development and provides bursaries and learning support for students who are seeking to commence or complete a Massey University qualification in the field of Māori mental health.
  • Careerforce is the Industry Training Organisation for the health, wellbeing, social and community sectors. Careerforce distributes training grants for mental health support workers and is leading the delivery of the Kaiāwhina (un-regulated) Workforce Action Plan.

Te Pou, Werry Workforce Whāraurau, Le Va and Te Rau Matatini collectively are known as the Workforce Centres and are Ministry appointed agents to deliver workforce-related services. They are recognised sector leaders with expertise in either Māori, Pacific, children and youth and adult mental health and addiction workforce development services. HWNZ also manages funding for post-entry clinical training in psychiatry, nursing, psychology and other health professionals as well as voluntary bonding schemes.

Workforce Action Plan

The Mental Health and Addiction Workforce Action Plan 2017–2021 was published in February 2017 and outlines the actions needed to develop a workforce with the right skills, knowledge, competencies and attitudes needed to design and deliver integrated and innovative responses. The actions outlined in this action plan will support the development of the primary health care, community and specialist workforce to be well equipped, integrated, competent and capable to focus on improving health and wellbeing. It will guide decisions about investment and resourcing for the next five years and is relevant to all people working to improve outcomes for those with mental health and addiction issues.

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