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Maori Party Welcomes South Auckland Health Centre

Maori Party Welcomes South Auckland Health Centre

Hon Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples; Co-leaders of the Maori Party

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Maori Party Co-leaders, Dr Pita Sharples and Hon Tariana Turia, congratulated Counties Manukau DHB, Auckland University, Manukau Institute of Technology and AUT University for their brave step forward in announcing earlier today a new health research centre for up to 500 trainee health workers to be built in South Auckland.

“This is huge for us in Tamaki Makaurau” said Dr Sharples. “We have an incredibly diverse and vibrant community in South Auckland – home to more than 150 different ethnic groups – and so ‘one size fits all’ has never applied”.

“The Maori Party absolutely endorses the intention of the centre to attract more local people into health training and by doing so, to create a health workforce that more closely reflects our communities”.

“It is a boost for Tamaki Makaurau – the collaboration of key players in our educational institutions is going to lift the levels of tertiary education and participation in a way which will have real spin-offs for the community”.

“The other exciting thing about today” said Tariana Turia, health spokesperson for the Maori Party, “is that I understand particular emphasis will be placed on increasing the number of health workers who are Maori, Pasifika or Asian”.

“Such an emphasis is well overdue” such Mrs Turia. “In 2004, only 2.6% of all active medical practitioners were Maori (234)”.

“The 2005 statistics weren’t much better –Maori made up 7% of all working nurses (2729) and midwives (110) and just 2.1% of all dentists (35)” said Mrs Turia.

“These numbers are abysmally low – and it gets even worse – in 2006, Aotearoa had only four Maori chiropractors and eleven Maori dieticians – and believe it or not – this represented a huge increase on the 2005 numbers!”.

“We need capable and culturally competent health workers who are equipped to provide quality healthcare to our whanau – and we need it today” said Mrs Turia.

“There has been a huge demand to create a health workforce which represents the face of our future” said Mrs Turia. “We congratulate everyone involved in establishing the new health centre, and I am sure we will all be eagerly awaiting results!”.


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