Priority | Building capability and removing bias


PHARMAC is committed to challenging bias, in all its forms and contexts, and recognises systemic racism as 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. 

June 2021 update

We have

  • planned review of bias in PHARMAC systems
  • developed Māori capability framework and programme for staff.

By mid-2021 we aimed to…

  • Planned a review of bias in PHARMAC’s systems and decision making.
  • Established a framework for a Māori capability programme that will apply to all staff 

By the end of 2021 we will have… 

  • Commissioned a review on bias in our systems. 
  • A Māori capability programme has been developed and all staff are starting to engage in training.
  • All staff attending training and understand bias and its impact on Māori. 
  • Begun tracking Māori capability progress through the Te Arawhiti cultural capability frameworks.

By mid-2022 we will have…

  • Completed a review of bias in our systems.
  • Developed measures to monitor removal of bias in our systems.
  • Staff recognising and self-addressing their biases.

By 2023 we will have…

  • Routinely checking, reporting and addressing bias in our systems.
  • Staff continuing to be aware of and addressing their bias.
  • A culturally safe learning environment within PHARMAC. 

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