Ma¯ori health lead­ers tar­get ‘racism’

The Northern Advocate - - Nation -

Two groups of Ma¯ori health lead­ers are launch­ing a claim in the Waitangi Tri­bunal about what they say is “in­equity and in­sti­tu­tion­alised racism in the health sys­tem”.

The two claimant groups are be­ing heard in the Waitangi Tri­bunal from Mon­day at Tu¯ran­gawae­wae Marae in Ngaru­awahia, as part of stage one of the na­tional kau­papa in­quiry into health ser­vices and out­comes.

They say in­equity and in­sti­tu­tion­alised racism in the health sys­tem ex­ists and the Crown is fail­ing to care for Ma¯ori health and well­be­ing.

Te Ko¯hao Health manag­ing di­rec­tor Lady Ture­iti Moxon said the cur­rent sys­tem was not meet­ing the needs of Ma¯ori.

Their Wai 1315 claim, in­volv­ing a group of Ma¯ori work­ing in pri­mary care in the North Is­land, had been 13 years in the wait­ing, Moxon said.

It was filed back in 2005 in re­sponse to the Gov­ern­ment’s Pri­mary Health Care Strat­egy.

“What we saw then con­tin­ues now — the sys­tem is not meet­ing the needs of Ma¯ori. The in­equal­i­ties that ex­ist be­tween Ma¯ori health and the health of oth­ers is a na­tional out­cry for our peo­ple and our na­tion.”

To­gether with claim Wai 2687, the groups shared the view mana mo­tuhake, self-de­ter­mi­na­tion and Ma¯ori au­ton­omy would pro­duce bet­ter health out­comes and save lives.

The claimants were seek­ing rec­om­men­da­tions from the Wait­tangi Tri­bunal for leg­isla­tive re­form of the sys­tem for Ma¯ori to have au­ton­omy of their own health­care ser­vices to or­gan­ise, de­velop and de­liver.

Both groups con­sid­ered the Crown did not es­tab­lish the health sys­tem to work for Ma¯ori, but el­e­vat­ing mana mo­tuhake would en­able the claimants to de­ter­mine so­lu­tions that worked for wha¯nau.

“The ul­ti­mate so­lu­tion lies in con­sti­tu­tional re­form based on Te Tir­iti o Waitangi that en­trenches eq­uity of out­come and Ma¯ori par­tic­i­pa­tion in achiev­ing this,” Na­tional Hauora Coali­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Royal said, rep­re­sent­ing the claim Wai 2687.

“In the mean­time leg­isla­tive re­form and pub­lic pol­icy change is re­quired en­sur­ing Ma¯ori health is ad­e­quately re­sourced — so we can see Ma¯ori thrive.”

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