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No problem with Maori health providers, says Brash

23 April 2004

No problem with Maori health providers, says Brash

National Party Leader Don Brash told a Maori-run health and education trust in Papakura today that, contrary to popular belief, his party does not have a problem with Maori health and education providers.

"We support healthcare and social service delivery on the basis of need, not race, and will support community based delivery provided it is needs-based and non-exclusive," he said.

In a statement later, elaborating on his talks with Kotahitanga Community Trust, he said: "You choose your structures and delivery mechanisms to suit yourselves and your communities -- a National Government will only be interested in your outcomes."

He said that, in fact, a number of Maori health providers were established when National was last in Government.

"This happened because we believe that community groups are often the most effective way to deliver health, education, and social services to New Zealanders.

"It is often the case that communities, not bureaucrats in Wellington or even District Health Boards, know what will work in their area. They know the people, the problems, and usually what the best solutions to those problems will be.

The Kotahitanga Community Trust is embroiled in a fight to become a Primary Health Organisation.

Dr Brash confirmed that National does not support the concept of PHOs.

But he said National does support fair treatment and equitable funding arrangements for all effective providers and would move swiftly to achieve this after becoming the Government.

"National believes that tax dollars should go to the groups who are going to be most effective at delivering services - and we expect those groups to be fully accountable for the money they receive and the services they deliver."


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