This is a library, or hub, of information about the psychology workforce and psychology workforce development. The concept of Te Pātaka comes from the idea of Māori having storage facilities for many important resources, which historically sat alongside the wharenui. In contemporary times, the concept is used ‘fluidly’ to describe a storage space for many kinds of mātauranga, including in this case useful information about psychology workforce development.

Psychologists Role:

For the Public 


Brief description

Our Psychology Shapes Our Future (2018)

Describes what psychologists do and their contribution to the wellbeing of the nation. Also briefly describes the role of different subspecialties of psychology such as clinical, community, counselling, education, health, and organisational psychologists and neuropsychologists.



Leadership by Psychologists in DHBs (2017)

A survey of psychologists in leadership positions in District Health Boards outlining the number, growth, and  types of leadership roles taken by psychologists, and discussing some of the trends and issues for psychologists undertaking leadership in the secondary health service in NZ.



Mostly of Interest to Psychologists 


Brief description

Evidence and Wisdom (2014)

Describes the role of psychologists and unique contribution they make in current and future health services, and outlines possible areas for expansion and development of their contribution to improving the health services of the future.

Medical Psychology in New Zealand (2001)

 Written for an international audience, describes the history and current status of psychology within general medical services and health psychology in New Zealand until 2001, including some descriptive material about the size and roles of the psychological workforce. 

Thought Leadership by Psychologists (2017)

Describes psychologists’ role in creating change in society based on psychological understanding and discusses techniques that can help them influence change and make it happen.

Core Competencies for DHB Psychs (2019)


A statement of the core competencies for psychologists working in DHBs, specifying the competencies in nine specific areas and at 4 levels of practice. Originally developed by the DHB Psychology Professional Leadership Council in the mid-1990s and updated to the present.

Psychology Workforce Descriptions

Recent (past 10 years) 


Brief description

Aotearoa NZ Psychology Workforce Survey (2016)


A survey of the psychologist workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand, detailing the profile and activities of the workforce and workforce dynamics. The first part describes results for all respondents, and the second part focuses on psychologists working in the health sector.

Psychology Workload Management Resource (2023)

Document revised by the Te Whatu Ora Psychology Leadership Council to explain the role of psychologists in health services and indicate to psychologists and managers the workload and amount of clinical activities that are expected of psychologists.

DHB Psychology Vacancies (2016)

Describes a survey indicating the number and type of DHB services with long-term psychological vacancies and/or with insufficient numbers of psychologists for optimal function.

The Distribution of Clinical Psychologists in New Zealand (2013)

Describes the distribution of clinical psychologists in New Zealand and discusses the implications of this for contribution to mental health and the health services around the country.

Intern Psychologists 2017-19 (2020)

Presents data on the number of intern psychologists in New Zealand in the years 2017-19, showing total numbers, numbers by subspecialty, and numbers by sector.

Workforce Factors for Psychologists In CAMHS in New Zealand (2010)

Explored factors that promote and hinder recruitment and retention of psychologists in CAMHS services in New Zealand and identified strategies to improve workforce development and maintenance in New Zealand. 



Older Documents 


Brief description

Psychologists in Physical Health Services in New Zealand (2008) 

Results of a nationwide survey regarding psychologists working in physical health services in New Zealand. Shows significant differences in number and areas of utilisation of psychologists around the country.

 DHB Psychology Workforce Survey (2006)

 A survey of the psychological workforce in New Zealand DHBs in 2006.  



Psychology Workforce Development:

New Zealand 


Brief description

Psychology Workforce Pipeline (2017)


Outlines a “psychology workforce pipeline” that details the “flow” of psychologists through their career, identifying difficulties that limit the number of psychologists at different stages in career, issues associated with each stage, and potential solutions to improve workforce development and retention.

Psychology Pipeline Brief Summary (2018)

Summarises the “psychology workforce pipeline” described in more detail in the full document, and summarises some of the strategies that may improve the development and retention of the psychological workforce.

How Many Psychologists? (2017)


Discusses the number of psychologists currently employed in the sector and the implications of this for waiting times, then uses multiple approaches to determine how many psychologists will need to be employed in the primary and secondary health sector to ensure effective access to psychologists for health service users.

Retaining the Psychological Workforce - Health (2017)


Results of a study of psychologists currently or formerly employed in the health sector to understand why they leave positions within the health sector and to identify strategies that may improve retention of psychologists in the health sector.

Retaining the Psychological Workforce  - Health: Summary (2019)

Brief summary of the full paper about retention of psychologists in the health sector, focusing on barriers to retention and strategies for improving retention of psychologists in the health sector.

Retaining the Psychological Workforce – Oranga Tamariki (2018)


Results of a study of psychologists currently or formerly employed in Oranga Tamariki (and prior organisations such as CYFS) to understand why they leave positions within Oranga Tamariki and to identify strategies that may improve retention of psychologists in this service.

NZCCP Submission to the Petitions Committee - Petition of Lucy McLean: Increase the psychologist workforce in New Zealand (November 2021)


Indigenous Psychology: Reaching our Highest Peaks (2018)

 A document describing barriers and incentives for Māori participation in psychology, the Māori psychological workforce, and pathways for developing the psychological workforce to best meet the needs of Māori.





Brief description

Psychology Staffing Guidelines - UK (2019)

Summarises recommendations from the UK about the number of psychologists that should be included in various types of mental health services.