Hei Āhuru Mōwai, the Māori Cancer Leadership Board, says achieving equitable cancer care for Māori is an urgent priority. Chair, Dr Nina Scott says that while the new National Cancer Plan is promising, the group believes that accelerated Maori partnership is critical to ensure the plan can be translated into action.
Hei Āhuru Mōwai worked in partnership with the Health Ministry to develop the National Cancer Plan and led discussion at the "National Cancer at the Crossroads" conference to set out foundational expectations; including the ‘Survival Equity 2030’ goal. The Hei Āhuru Mōwai Board led an anti-racism in cancer workshop and advised on including anti-racism in the Plan. Hei Āhuru Mōwai celebrates content of the Plan, including whānau centered care guidelines and the matauranga Māori knowledge framework and believe that Māori whānau experiencing cancer will see themselves acknowledged in the Plan. The Board says that the new National Cancer plan is an essential first step and that a demonstrated commitment to partnership is needed to ensure cancer survival equity is achieved for Māori by 2030.
Dr Scott says that to be truly effective, partnership between Māori and other cancer leaders must be accelerated and that this must include equal decision making power for Maori at the National Cancer Agency. She says that it is crucial that governance structures are put in place to ensure the plan can be put into action by the thousands people working at every step of the cancer pathway including prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care, policy and research.
Hei Āhuru Mōwai remain committed to ensuring that Māori can work in a true Treaty partnership with other cancer leaders and look forward to working with the new national agency to help guide implementation, monitoring and accountability of the Plan.