Pānui | December 2023

Keeping you updated and informed

A message from our Chief Executive

Welcome to our first Pānui. Keeping you all informed and up to date is an important part of ensuring you hear about what we’re doing and how we’re contributing to improving the workforce development in our sectors.  

2023 has been a busy year. We’ve got an updated structure, a renewed SLT, new Council members, a refreshed website, and we have drafted an updated Statement of Strategic Direction. In this issue you can read about some exciting projects we’ve got happening as well as more detail about our draft Statement of Strategic Direction.  

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked with us throughout 2023 and has been part of the many kōrero and hui it takes to do our mahi every day.  

I’m looking forward to 2024 and our successes and challenges ahead.

Toitū te Waiora welcomes new Council members

In September, we welcomed five new Council members. Martin Wikaira, Vanessa Caldwell, Caroline Mareko, Hikitia Ropata and Grant Cleland were all welcomed at a mihi whakatau in the Wellington office with plenty of guests and kaimahi, and virtual kaimahi from around the motu. 

“The support from our kaimahi who were involved in the mihi whakatau to our new Council members was amazing,” says Wayne Glen, Industry Engagement Lead (Māori), who lead the opening welcome and karakia. 

With our Council now having two Pacific members, a member with both a lived and professional experience of disability, four women, and four Māori, our new Council brings a strengthened diversity and strong experience in Governance, government, and sector representations.  

“The mihi whakatau was a great opportunity for Toitū te Waiora kaimahi to come together to celebrate the appointments. They bring with them an amazing set of skills as well as important connections to our industries,” says Sean McKinley, Interim Chief Executive.  

“The strengthening of Toitū te Waiora was evident in the way kaimahi came together to ensure our new Council members, their whānau and supporters were so warmly welcomed.” 

Head to our website for more information about all our Council members. Also, as a start of a series of kōrero with our Council we sat down with Hikitia Ropata and Grant Cleland to talk about how they think they can add value and the challenges ahead for Toitū te Waiora. Korero with our Council – Toitū te Waiora (

Toitū te Waiora sets Strategic Direction

Toitū te Waiora has developed an updated Statement of Strategic Direction that sets its direction of work till 2028 and sets out its overarching goal and what success looks like. 

“Our mahi builds a vital workforce that contributes to the economic prosperity of Aotearoa. A workforce that is the social and economic backbone of our communities – carers and kaitiaki of Aotearoa. This Statement of Strategic Direction shows how we can help deliver that workforce, and build a stronger future,” says Sean McKinley Interim Chief Executive.   

“This is the first long-term Statement of Strategic Direction for Toitū te Waiora, so it was important that when we developed the Statement, we engaged with our specific sector partners, vocational education providers, and those representing Māori interests.”  

Sean believes that now Toitū te Waiora has matured, it has greater clarity and assurance, and it will truly transform workforce development across our sectors.    

“When we were formulating our Strategic Direction, the Senior Leadership Team and I considered our ‘why’, and really wanted to look at what success looks like when we achieve those outcomes. We also wanted to make it straightforward, so we’ve developed a simple framework based on those conversations. The framework speaks to the outcomes and goals we want to achieve, and how we will show our progress,” says Sean.     

“We know we’ll have achieved our goal when qualifications and standards are current, accessible to learners, and meet industry needs now and in the future. And that we’ve understood and addressed our sector and industry workforce needs and we’re trusted and influential advisors to our stakeholders.” 

The Statement of Strategic Direction has been out for a robust consultation during November and the amount of feedback reflects the engagement of our sectors and partners in our work. Once finalised we will work with TEC to present it to the new Minister for review and then it will be available on our website in the New Year.

Health and Wellbeing Review

Toitū te Waiora is planning a comprehensive review of eight Health and Wellbeing qualifications in 2024. 

“As the qualification developer, Toitū te Waiora reviews qualifications to ensure they are fit-for-purpose for the sector – and that graduates can meet the requirements of the health and wellbeing workforce,” says Dr James Dearnley, Acting General Manager Qualifications and Assurance.  

Toitū te Waiora is working closely with the sector, with particular focus on Māori, Pacific and Whaikaha, both in terms of supporting learners and in creating a workforce that is equipped to support the health and wellbeing needs of Aotearoa.   

“Advisory group participation will ensure we have representation and insight across different specialist areas of the sector. They will also help us identify areas for improvement in the qualifications and identify gaps in the workforce and priorities for the sector,” he says. 

Although the primary task is the review of existing qualifications, Toitū te Waiora is open-minded about developing new qualifications (or additional new strands to qualifications) based on sector guidance. It will actively explore innovative solutions for learners, for example, the potential development of stackable micro-credentials for add-on learning/professional development purposes.  

Following the qualification reviews, Toitū te Waiora will develop a suite of new NZQCF skill standards for programmes of study leading to the qualifications. These will, over time, replace existing unit standards. It predicts this work will run through to the end of 2025. 

“We’re starting to reach out to industry, iwi, and stakeholders to ask who wants to be involved. We will start gathering insights and finalising the advisory groups in January 2024. The real work begins when they start meeting in March 2024, and then we’ll aim to make final recommendations about the qualifications to NZQA in October 2024,” says James. 

Toitū te Waiora is launching a Health and Wellbeing Survey. This is the first phase of the Review and a chance to feedback about the current Health and Wellbeing qualifications and workforce needs.  

The feedback received will shape consultations and help to ensure that the Health and Wellbeing qualification suite continues to be fit for purpose for learners and the sector. 

Head to our Health and Wellbeing Qualifications Review page to keep up to date or contact the team on [email protected]

Reflecting on the last 12 months

Like so many organisations, Toitū te Waiora published its 2022/23 Annual Report, and it was an opportunity for leadership to reflect on the last 12 months.  

“The Council and kaimahi overcame many challenges and grew stronger because of them. Our organisational reset has provided us with an opportunity to move forward with a clear narrative and direction and provide our partners and kaimahi with clarity around our role and direction. The korero we have had with kaimahi, and Council colleagues, reminded us of why we are here,” said Council Co-Chairs Matthew Tukaki and David Waters. 

“We’re committed to ensure we showcase our unlimited potential. Our kaimahi know the best way to make this happen is to build solid relationships. Right now, building whanaungatanga with our key partners has been our primary focus,” they added. 

The full 2023 Annual Report, including case studies, breakdown of sector information, and Financial Statements is available.

Stepping up our digital journey

To support workforce development in Aotearoa New Zealand we are improving our communication tools so we can share what we’re doing in a clear and timely manner.  

“With the website migration to WordPress in July, we can now continually improve and update the site with comparative ease,” says Amanda Kent, Acting General Manager Strategy and Advice.  

“We also more recently completed a larger web project. We’ve improved the navigation, included more images, and included case studies – all to improve our digital presence in line with our social voice. The site has clear, consistent messaging on what we do, who for and where people can get more information,” she says. 

We’ve undertaken an accessibility review of the entire site in line with the New Zealand Web Accessibility Standard 1.1. All public service and non-public service agencies must meet this standard. This review gives the organisation a clear idea of where it sits in terms of an accessible website – what it is doing well, and what improvements need to be made in order to have a truly accessible and useable website. The previous website had no analytics so we’ve also imbedded Google Analytics to help us understand what content is effective and reaching audiences like it should. 

“Our web pages have also undergone search engine optimisation (SEO) reviews. This makes it much simple to find information on Google or on the site. Hopefully we’ve made it easier for people visiting the site to find the information they’re looking for. The aim is to develop a functional and user-friendly website,” adds Amanda. 

We have taken the option to focus our digital presence on LinkedIn, and Facebook will eventually be phased out. If we do choose to take on board a lighter social platform then Instagram could be an option.  

“Our LinkedIn engagement helps us connect with the sector and know what is going on with our stakeholders on a regular basis – I really encourage everyone to follow us too – we’re trying to post as many things on there as possible.”