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Historic Hauora Report on Māori Health “Bold & Courageous"

Nine months after the first Waitangi Tribunal hearing at Tūrangawaewae Marae, the first ever report to come out of the Kaupapa Programme, the ‘Hauora’ Report on Stage One of the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry 2019 has been released.

The Claimants’ who first filed thirteen years ago say it’s historic.

A new Māori Health Authority, funding methodology, compensation and proposed law reform is all part of the reset and rebalance.

The Hauora report based on 16,000 pages of evidence; is damning of the Crown and its failure honouring its Treaty obligations to Māori. It praises Māori primary health organisations and providers for setting the national benchmark.

“Crown witnesses nonetheless agreed with the claimants that Māori primary health organisations and providers are innovative, and have achieved impressive improvements in Māori health outcomes despite the limitations of the primary health care system. They broadly agreed that these organisations should be con¬sidered benchmarks for the approaches and performance of the rest of the sector.”

The Tribunal directly addresses the claims of Māori Primary health organisation and provider claimants, Lady Tureiti Moxon Managing Director of Te Kōhao Health and Chair of the National Urban Māori Authority and Ms Janice Kuka CEO of Ngā Mataapuna Oranga.

The Waitangi Tribunal clearly outline why the current public health system fails Māori. There are gross inequities, the current framework is not fit-for-purpose and there is a lack of ability for Māori to exercise mana motuhake/self-determination in both design and delivery.

“I thought the report was extremely brave and courageous. It creates a precedent and made the wait worthwhile,” says Lady Tureiti Moxon.

Two key recommendations in the body of findings by the Waitangi Tribunal will create a paradigm shift she believes.

“What we asked for is to stand outside with our own entity and have extensive funding. The Tribunal has taken us seriously even though the Crown knew we were underfunded for years. We got everything we wanted.”

The report calls for structural reform so there is a stand-alone Māori primary health authority. Within the next seven months representatives of the Māori primary health organisations and provider claimants are to design a draft term of reference for this authority to be taken out to the wider Māori primary health sector.

The second major recommendation tackles underfunding. The Waitangi Tribunal calls for methodology to be designed that assesses the current and ongoing lack of compensation.

“The proposed changes to the New Zealand Public Disability Act 2000 will protect Māori into the future – we basically have none now, it’s based on goodwill yet can change with whatever Government is in power.”

Ms Kuka is very pleased with the outcome saying the report is logical.

“It’s laid out a clear pathway. It shows how we will design a modern health system for us – tino rangatiratanga. It determines the framework for engagement so Iwi, hapū and urban Māori authorities who work under a kaupapa for our people are supported. It’s a game changer in hauora,” she says.

This is echoed in the report. “Māori primary health organisations and health providers are intrinsic to sustaining Māori health and wellbeing, and are expressions of tino rangatiratanga.”
The Tribunal indicates it’s committed to ongoing guidance and by setting a deadline of seven months to progress the changes is demonstrating an ongoing commitment to supporting the Crown and Māori in their journey together.

Lady Moxon says the Tribunal has thought this through seriously and now it’s time to act.

“What more can be said, it’s been said – now it’s time to put the recommendation into action.”

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