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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

July 30, 2012

Director appointed to health workforce collaboration

South Island Alliance Logo

A new collaboration between the five South Island district health boards (DHBs) focussed on health workforce development has achieved a key milestone with the appointment of its inaugural Regional Programme Director of Training.

Kate Rawlings, the former College Manager of the University of Canterbury's College of Arts, has been appointed to the role and will take up the post next month.

The South Island Regional Training Hub (SIRTH) was established by Health Workforce New Zealand with a goal of ensuring post graduate education and training is more effective for health professionals through reduced duplication and provision of enhanced opportunities.

SIRTH is one of four regional training hubs covering the upper, central, and lower North Island, and the South Island. Health Workforce New Zealand has collaborated with DHBs, educational providers and professional associations in establishing the hubs to better meet the needs of the public health sector workforce for ongoing education and training.

Ms Rawlings has previously held a series of senior health positions in New Zealand and Australia. She has a Bachelor of Education (nursing) and Masters of Health Administration.

In combination with her extensive clinical experience, she has a background in the education of health professionals and has lectured at Sydney University, the University of Technology and the University of Newcastle.

Ms Rawlings said her work experience has given her a broad view of health professional education, often operating in a dynamic environment within tight fiscal boundaries. "Through this I've developed a very strong commitment to education and health, as a means of making a difference to people's quality of life."

David Meates, SIRTH's lead CE and Robyn Henderson, Chair of SIRTH's Steering Group, said the requirement for strategic planning for postgraduate training development, improving access to education and training, and strengthening workforce development were SIRTH's key objectives.
"The goal is to ensure optimum use of existing training resources, resulting in an even better prepared workforce delivering even better health care to the communities served by each district health board" says Mr Meates.
"The hubs are not taking over from existing education providers, but are charged with looking at ways providers can work more collaboratively and efficiently. It's expected that opportunities for different training approaches and expanded/new courses will result.

The Regional Programme Director Training will be responsible for the overall coordination of a range of programmes and initiatives across multiple health disciplines within the South Island.

Mr Meates and Ms Henderson said that would include providing expert advice to support effective and efficient implementation of regional and national health workforce priorities and the provision of leadership and vision for clinical workforce development, education and training issues.

For more information contact: Kath Goodyear, SIRTH Project Facilitator, 03 3378854 ext 68854 or

More about the regional training hubs and the South Island Alliance
The development of the training hubs is part of a wider approach to regional services planning, where the Government has charged DHBs to work more collaboratively under a shared services model.

The 20 DHBs across the country have now formed into four Alliances and each has prepared a regional services plan describing in detail how they will deliver on shared services.

The South Island Alliance provides a framework for the five South Island DHBs (Canterbury, Nelson-Marlborough, West Coast, South Canterbury and Southern) to deliver shared services under the South Island Regional Services Health Plan.

The aim of the plan is to make best use of the resources the South Island has as a region, by supporting vulnerable services, improving access, and using regional capacity more efficiently.
SIRTH is structured into four workstreams: Medical, Nursing, Allied Health and Scientific Technical, and Midwifery. A clinical leadership team is being developed for each workstream and will, through advisory groups, work with public and private tertiary education providers, health unions, non-government organisations and public health organisations, to see where a regional approach can be taken to advanced education and training in health.

Developments so far include:

  • A Pathology Registrar Training Scheme headed by the Nelson Marlborough DHB aims to develop a rotation for trainee pathologists throughout the South Island.
  • The South Island DHB Human Resource departments are developing a South Island-wide learning and development council for ongoing education and training for all DHB staff including health professionals. .

Useful websites include:

For more information

Bryan Jamieson
Community Liaison Officer
West Coast DHB
PO Box 387
Greymouth 7840
Phone (DDI): (03) 769-7665
Mobile: 027 245-9595
Email: This is not a link as we want to prevent spam.  Please transfer the email address on the image carefully into your email client before sending the email.  You might find, with some older email addresses on this site that they are no longer current, for staff-change reasons.  If your email bounces back please contact the WCDHB Communications Team - see Contacts section of this site.

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