21 August 2002 Media Statement
Tariana Turia welcomes survey of mental health workers
Associate Minister of Health, Tariana Turia, hopes Maori mental health workers will participate in a survey of training
The survey is part of Te Rau Matatini, a Maori mental health workforce development programme being co-ordinated by
Massey University, and funded by the Ministry of Health.
The survey will identify what skills Maori mental health workers need, what skills the current workforce has, and if
there are skill shortages that can be addressed by training programmes.
“This is a real chance for the workers at the flax roots of Maori mental health services to set the agenda for how the
sector develops,” said Tariana Turia.
“Practitioners need a range of specialised skills if they are to make a real difference to the mental health of tangata
whenua. There are clinical and professional skills, and also community-based knowledge, networks and cultural skills.
“The sector as a whole needs to establish the right balance of skilled staff, through training programmes targeted to
meet areas of need, and incentives to encourage qualified people to work for mental health.
“This survey could give us a clear picture of the current situation, if workers participate in the survey, and fill out
the questionnaire. I support the aims of the project, and I encourage Maori mental health workers to spend a few minutes
filling the survey out and sending it back to Te Rau Matatini,” said Tariana Turia.
The survey will close at the end of August. Using the data, training programmes will be planned during the rest of this
year, and piloted in March 2003.