The term kaiāwhina describes non-regulated roles in the health and disability sector. This includes community support, disability support, mental health and addiction support, primary care assistance, public health assistance, hospital orderlies and allied health roles such as allied health assistants and dental assistants. The term does not replace the specific title roles, for example: health care assistant, orderly, diversional therapist, mental health support worker.
The Kaiāwhina Workforce Action Plan, is led by the Ministry of Health in partnership with Careerforce Te Toi Pūkenga and co-created with stakeholders from across the health and disability sector. It recognises kaiāwhina as a valued workforce, supported and enabled to develop their skills and knowledge to better support health care consumers.
The Kaiāwhina Action Plan 2015/20 ended in June 2020, when all 53 actions had either been completed or significantly progressed.
The Kaiāwhina Action Plan 2020/25 has five core priorities and supports tino rangatiratanga (self-determination) for the kaiāwhina workforce, amplifying the kaiāwhina voice in governance and implementation of the plan.