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Kaitiaki Group to control Maori cervical data

24 September 2002 Media Statement

National Kaitiaki Group to retain control of Maori women’s cervical screening data

Women’s Affairs Minister Ruth Dyson today announced the outcome of the government’s review of the 1995 Kaitiaki Regulations. Reviewing the regulations was one of the recommendations of the Gisborne Inquiry into the under-reporting of cervical smear abnormalities.

Speaking at the Maori Women’s Welfare League’s annual conference in Gisborne today, Ms Dyson said the existing system would be retained.

“The National Kaitiaki Group, established under health regulations in 1995, will continue to consider all applications for access, use and publication of aggregate Maori women’s data on the National Cervical Screening Programme register. Processes will be improved so that the National Cervical Screening Programme can better access this data.

“It is important to Maori women that their data held on the register is treated appropriately and used in a way that benefits tangata whenua. This decision balances protection of that data with the need to use it to monitor and evaluate the National Cervical Screening Programme to ensure it is safe and effective for Maori women.”

Ruth Dyson said the decision followed nationwide consultation with Maori women, and the release of a discussion document that sought comment on four options, ranging from retaining the existing system to repealing the regulations and dissolving the National Kaitiaki Group.

“In making its decision, the government has listened to Maori women and their whanau. Most submissions supported the status quo, along with improved processes so that the National Cervical Screening Programme can better access the data.”

The government also noted that the programme would benefit from the establishment of an advisory group of Maori women to provide advice on screening issues.

ENDS

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