Priority | Building capability and removing bias


Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac is committed to challenging bias, in all its forms and contexts, and recognises systemic racism is a key determinant of health for Māori.

What we’ve heard 

“Unconscious bias needs to be acknowledged in order to be addressed. It’s not enough for it to be embedded in other goals.”


  • Pharmac has strong cultural capability.
  • Pharmac understands bias in all its forms and the impact it has on our programmes, policies and decisions.
  • Pharmac continuously measures and reassesses bias within our organisation and shares outcomes.
  • Pharmac continuously addresses bias in all its forms.
  • Pharmac is a safe and continuous learning environment for Māori capability development.
  • Pharmac research and data analysis are undertaken in a way that upholds the mana and tikanga of whānau Māori.

How we will measure performance

  • Measures developed to monitor removal of bias within our programmes, policies, and decisions.
  • Benchmarking ourselves against Te Arawhiti cultural capability frameworks. 

August 2022 update

We have:

  • completed training for our people leaders in understanding the dynamics of institutional racism and in critical Te Tiriti analysis
  • run all-of-staff training on Aotearoa New Zealand history and biculturalism
  • developed an MOU with Auckland University of Technology (AUT) to look at institutional racism in our processes
  • continued staff te reo Māori lessons and Te Tiriti training.

By 2023 we aim to have…

  • staff being aware of and routinely checking, reporting and addressing bias in our systems
  • adopted a health and disability sector approach towards an environment and culture that is free of racism and discrimination
  • completed the AUT review of institutional racism and co-designed this project with health and safety of Māori and Pacific staff at the forefront
  • a culturally safe learning environment within Pharmac.

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