Health equity and cultural safety 

Practising in Aotearoa, New Zealand requires a continuing need to develop and provide culturally safe patient-centred care. This includes cultural dimensions such as age, gender, sexual orientation, religious or spiritual beliefs and a focus on improving health outcomes for Māori as tangata whenua.

Understanding cultural safety 

Reflect on your own cultural position, attitudes and biases to assist you develop a more culturally safe approach to patient care.

Cultural safety video resources

Cultural safety vs cultural competence

HSQC module one

MCNZ statement on cultural safety

HSQC module two

Building a culturally safe practice 

HSQC module three

Mihi 501 health professionals course - Continuing education provided by the University of Otago

The objective of the course is to support health practitioners to feel informed and confident in the development of Hauora Māori competencies, with a special focus on the application of the Hui Process and Meihana Model.

Please note, the 2021 Mihi 501 course if full. View other courses offered by the University of Otago.

Disability Equity – new e-learning module available now
The 3DHB Disability Strategy Team from Capital and Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards launched a new e-learning module earlier this year. Disability Equity is being offered on to ensure disability equity is nationally consistent and aligned with international expectations. All members are encouraged to take this module, which has three separate topics - Disability Explained, Engaging with Disabled People, and Working with Disabled People.

Cultural safety online resources 

Cultural competence resources

The College CPD team have compiled some resources to help you develop your knowledge and skills, to enhance your cultural competence.

College produced cultural competence resources 

Cultural competence framework                  Cultural competence quick pullout


External online courses


He Papa Tikanga (Certificate in Tikanga Māori, Level 3) (FEE FREE)

He Papa Tikanga will give you insight into a Māori worldview. Learn about traditions,concepts, values, protocols, and understand why Māori do things a certain way.

Māori Concepts of Health Promotion

Māori Indigeneity, Whānau Ora and the Determinants of Health

ACC: Guidelines on Māori Cultural Competencies for Providers (PDF)

Medical Council resources: Statements on Cultural Competence and Māori Health

Ministry of Health: Māori Health Webpage

Includes policies; links to Māori Health providers; information on Māori health models, Rongoā Māori, Whānau Ora, and Māori health plans and health needs assessment by DHBs.

University of Otago, Wellington course on Refugee and Migrant Health

Working with Interpreters for Primary Care Practitioners: An eLearning module

This module contains detailed information on how to work with professional interpreters as well as covering issues around the use of family doctors.

Self-designed activities

Doctors may wish to design and conduct activities relevant to their own particular practice contexts. These activities may be focused on cultural competence and health equity issues. These activities may take the form of patient feedback surveys or medical record audits. Peer group discussions on these topics, and on any relevant issues that arise in consultations, are recommended. If you have any queries or suggestions please contact the CPD team at

Understanding health equity