Medicines and older Māori — ‘It is through shared conversations that I understand’

July 10, 2024

How do kaumātua view the medicines service they receive and how could it be improved? What ethnic variations are there in this service? This educational course focuses on medicines and older Māori and is relevant to nurses in primary care, alongside pharmacists and GPs.

This course, on medicines and older Māori, comprises four videos, an independent reflection exercise, and a list of extra resources. It also includes downloadable posters developed after discussions with kaumātua, which can be displayed in your workplace.


Watching the videos and completing the independent reflection qualifies as one hour of continuing professional development (CPD).


This material was produced by He Ako Hiringa with Joanna Hikaka (Ngāruahine), a pharmacist from the former Waitematā District Health Board, whose research as a PhD candidate formed the basis of this resource. Her research was made possible with funding from the Health Research Council.


The four videos are:

Video 1: Course introduction

This video outlines the course and what clinicians can expect from the videos and other resources.


Video 2: Ethnic variations in the quality use of medicines for older adults in Aotearoa

Video two looks at why extra care is needed with medicines use in older adults, how to measure the quality use of medicines, and what the New Zealand data shows us about inequities in medicines use in older adults.

Video 3: Medicines review services for older Māori

The third video in this course examines medicines review services, how these can improve the safe and effective use of medicines for older adults, and what inequities there are within these review services.

Video 4: Older Māori experiences of medicines and medicines-related services

In the last video, clinicians hear directly from kaumātua about their experiences of medicines and medicines-related services. These quotes will improve clinician awareness about the real-life impacts of inadequate prescribing on older Māori.

As one kaumātua so aptly stated: “No te whitiwhiti kōrero i mohio ai – It is through shared conversation that I understand.”

Video 4 also presents posters that have been developed from the experiences of older Māori. These are available in te reo Māori and English and can be displayed in your place of work.


These posters have been developed by Hikaka, in consultation with kaumātua, and are intended to encourage them and others to have discussions with clinicians about their medicines.

If you display these posters, the intention is that you are prepared to engage in any discussions they generate. Viewing the four videos in this course helps to give context to the posters.

English Posters

Māori Posters

Pharmacy-specific (English) Posters

Independent reflection

After watching the videos and exploring the additional resources (below) in this course, you can complete an independent reflection. This activity encourages you to set goals to improve your management of older Māori patients. You can claim continuing professional development points/hours for watching the four videos and completing the independent reflection.

We have provided example answers in some of the reflection activities to help you formulate your goals and actions. You should replace these examples with your own thoughts.


Photo: AdobeStock

Additional resources

These additional resources include tools, articles and links that could help you to improve your treatment of older Māori.