National | Māori nurses

More Māori needed in mental health field, minister says

Health Minister Andrew Little today launched a mental health nursing recruitment campaign at Middlemore Hospital, aimed at increasing the numbers in mental health nursing.

The campaign launched with bilingual promotional videos but, when asked if there were enough Māori working in the area of mental health, the minister admitted that there weren’t. “I would say no (there isn’t enough). That’s why we need to make an extra special effort to attract more and pacific into the workforce,” he said.

There are many areas in which Māori are underrepresented within the health workforce. However Little focused on the shortage in the area of mental health, specifically youth.

Little believes that with the cancellation of school events like sports tournaments and school performances, youth are starting to feel the strain of a lack of normality.

“Before Covid, we took for granted that we could just go and do these sorts of things. That suddenly gets disrupted, it’s destabilising for a lot of people,” Little said.