Who we are

Ko wai mātou | Learn who we are and what we do

Who we are

Toitū te Waiora is one of six Workforce Development Councils (WDCs), dedicated to improving workforce development in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our mission is to shape our workforce for the present and future by working with industry, Māori communities, and education providers.  

We partner with industries and employers to identify what skills are needed within our sectors. We then work with our stakeholders to make sure learners are given the skills they need for the workforce, and providers can confidently deliver those skills to learners. We share our insights with the Tertiary Education Commission and advise on the required mix of, and investment in, vocational education and training.    

Our work involves developing qualifications, establishing standards, evaluating training provisions, and setting and assisting with capstone assessments. These standards are applied nationwide, regardless of the learning mode — be it on-the-job, in-class, or online.    

We work to ensure employers are confident that vocational education graduates have what they need to join the workforce, and that education and training providers are confident their programmes are relevant and industry endorsed.  By doing this, learners can trust their qualifications meet employer expectations and national industry standards.   

Our mahi builds a workforce that contributes to the prosperity of our nation. A workforce that is the social and economic backbone of our communities.

Improving workforce development across our sectors

Providing industry and iwi a strong voice in making the workforce of Aotearoa New Zealand fit for today and the future.

Our sectors

Toitū te Waiora has the broadest scope of all the Workforce Development Councils – spanning community, health, education, and social services sectors.    

We work from the cradle to the grave covering all the people-facing industries, from midwifery through to tangihanga and funeral services.   

We represent the following sectors: 

  • Care services  
  • Youth services   
  • Disability services   
  • Education and educational support services   
  • Funeral services  
  • Mental health and addictions services  
  • Health services  
  • Public order safety   
  • Regulatory services   
  • Skin and nail therapy services   
  • Social services   
  • Urban pest control 

Our stakeholders

We collaborate across the vocational education sector. We regularly engage with: 

  • Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)
  • New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA)
  • Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs)
  • Providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga, Private Training Establishments (PTEs))

Our name, waiata, and logo

Our name, Toitū te Waiora, was gifted to us by Te Kāhui Ahumahi. Our name represents the protection and preservation of health and wellbeing.   

Toitū is often referred to as the elevated kōrero and thinking in relation to our health and wellbeing:   

  • Toitū te Oranga Wairua – spiritual   
  • Toitū te Mauri Ora – life principle   
  • Toitū te Waiora – uplifting health and wellbeing 

Toitū Toitū  (Sustainability)

Toitū te waiora e (Protect/Preserve wellbeing)

Toitū te Tinana (Physical Body)

Toitū te hinengaro (Mind/Intellect)

Toitū te wairua (Spiritual)

Toitū te whānau (Family)

Toitū te waiora e (Protect/Preserve wellbeing)

– Nā Wini Geddes/Brenda Smith

Our logo is an image of a taura whiri, a plaited rope. The taura whiri, plaited rope, has been used as a metaphor by kaiwhaikōrero (orators) to connect whānau groups through a shared ancestor and to acknowledge a leader’s ability to bring people together. It has been applied to various situations where elements come together in unity. The taura/rope is made by plaiting aho (strands) made from rolled muka (scraped flax strands). Creating a stronger taura (rope) than the aho could on their own.

Our logo colour relates to Māori culture and the connection between people and nature.  The use of purple links us to colours only found in berries, linking us to the domain of rongoa, medicinal plants, such as the Tawa berry. Purple is also widely and globally used to represent faith and spirituality, te taha wairua, our spiritual well-being.