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Te Rau Matatini Advocating for the Māori Voice

5 October 2018 – 9am release

Te Rau Matatini Advocating for the Māori Voice in the Mental Health And Addiction Inquiry Report

Whilst groups across New Zealand prepare for Mental Health Awareness Week (8–14 October 2018), many people are awaiting in anticipation the release of the Government’s Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction Report and its key findings.

With Māori mental health and addiction having wide-reaching challenges, there is a high level of concern from Māori about whether the courage for the transformational changes to improve Māori wellbeing will indeed be articulated clearly in the final report.

Given the Coalition’s Government election promises of open government and transparency, Te Rau Matatini are hoping that there will be no restrictions imposed on access to the information that in its due course will influence how the report is written especially for Māori.

Though the last media statement by the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry Panel did not acknowledge the two day hui they had with Māori held in August in Auckland, there is hope that the methodology used to capture the voices of Māori submissions in this inquiry will not be restricted and will be taken into account authentically, as they have been expressed, so that Māori can see themselves in the findings and in the recommendations.

For Māori, their mental and emotional wellbeing extends beyond mental health and addiction service delivery, and considers a broad range of factors, aspirations and solutions.

In the two day hui in Auckland, concerns and recommendations for change were provided to the panel, similarly so by various Māori across New Zealand who also submitted their thoughts and solutions to the panel.

In recognition of these people, and of those who were unable to express themselves to the panel, whose needs were instead advocated for by whānau, practitioners and leaders, Te Rau Matatini is ensuring that the Government is reminded of their obligations to Māori as the treaty partner, to prioritise working beside Māori to ensure their perspectives are accorded the mana to be heard, and consequently the solutions are determined and led by Māori.

For further information, please view Turuki Turuki! Paneke Paneke! – the report from the hui held with Māori and the Mental Health Inquiry Panel (August, 2018) and the Māori Manifesto


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