The Waikato Institute of Technology's centre for Health and Social Practice has embedded introductory te reo Māori and tikanga Māori lessons through all of its programmes.
It comes after the Australasia College for Emergency Medicine launched its own cultural strategy in May, committing all of its senior staff and trainees to lessons in te reo Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi.
Wintec Director of Health, Dr Angela Beaton, said the institute wanted to develop practitioners who could work effectively with whānau, pronounce Māori patient names correctly and understand Māori customs.
She said it was an important step to eliminating health inequities for Māori.
"We're starting from the point where inequity between Māori and non-Māori are the most consistent and compelling health equities in this country, and we take that really seriously," she said.
"As part of our role as educators where we're graduating health and social care professionals we have to meet the needs of our community by providing effective, culturally-responsive care."
She said that could be achieved by attracting more Māori into health and social care professions, but also by increasing the expectations of all of their graduates to be culturally responsive.
"Students learn about Māori identity, Māori world-views, and different protocols by having noho marae stay.
"It's really about building their capability and confidence in tikanga and te reo so that they can work well with Māori and have very good communication skills."
Wintec staff have been supported to teach the lessons, and build their own capability in te reo and tikanga Māori, through a professional development course Te Tauihu.
"It accommodates staff with different levels of understanding so that they can develop and enhance their skills.
"We need to model for our students and support our Māori learners, and hope then that our students will take that knowledge and those values when they're working with their patients and clients in practice."
At the end of 2018, 125 Wintec staff had completed the course.