A pilot scheme to attract more young Māori into health careers is being considered for West Coast communities.
The West Coast District Health Board's Māori health team runs an annual programme for Māori high school students giving them a chance to spend time in different hospital and health areas, to see what type of work might appeal.
This year it is also looking at the viability of an eight-week 'shadow' programme where Year 12 and 13 Māori students would spend one day a week with a specific service, such as physiotherapy.
If those students found a potential career option that interested them, they would be supported by the DHB and workforce development agency Kia Ora Hauora to explore it further.
Kia ora Hauora was set up by the government in 2009 to increase the number of Māori working in health and disability.
In the past six years, 40 West Coast students have taken part in the programme, with 10 now embarked on health careers in psychology, nursing, social work and counselling, 13 of the 40 are still at school. All but five are female.
"We are currently canvassing interest from Buller, Grey, Westland, JPII [High School in Greymouth], Reefton Area School and South Westland for both programmes and expect a positive response," the DHB's Māori Health team reported.
"This year will be particularly exciting for the students, as they will be the first to experience Te Nikau (the new Greymouth hospital)."
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