Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Turia: Estimates Debate Speech

ESTIMATES DEBATE
Tuesday 26 July; 2005
Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

New Zealand has had some incredible achievements on the international stage including of course our Nga Rauru, Ngati Ruanui golf champion winning the US Open - whom we welcome home later this week.

But there’s another world record that’s nobody’s talking about.

An epidemic of type 2 diabetes is occurring in New Zealand, driven mainly by demographic trends and the increasing prevalence of obesity.

The epidemic most severely affects Maori and Pacific peoples.

Approximately 8% of Maori and Pacific populations have diabetes compared to 3-4% for the European population. That must be what is meant by “Maori privilege”.

Two out of three Maori and Pacific diabetics die from diabetes – compared to one in three European.

Just three weeks ago public health experts gathered in Wellington to discuss the fact that health inequalities are still evident.

The conference concluded that it was ironic that while some politicians are making political mileage out of claiming targeted interventions are ‘race-based’, that those same politicians are not standing up to draw attention to the race-based inequalities that created the need for the interventions in the first place.

Looking particularly at race-based privilege in relation to Maori:

- Maori develop diabetes ten years earlier than non-Maori.
- Maori are four times more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes than non-Maori.
- Maori are also over-represented in cases of diabetic renal failure, with rates up to ten times those of non-Maori.

What is even more of concern is that a study undertaken by David Tipene-Leach and colleagues, revealed the very high prevalence of insulin resistance of Maori from the East Coast north of Gisborne, particularly in young adults below 40 years of age. Such a finding indicates that type 2 diabetes is already well-established in our midst .

So what do the 2005 Estimates of Appropriations say about such a vital health issue for this nation? In the 50 pages allocated to Vote Health the word diabetes was mentioned once on page 727.

This is a life and death issue.

Diabetes causes approximately 1200 deaths per year .

One mention in 50 pages!

We cannot afford to wait any longer.

These are also issues of great significance to Vote Health.

Diabetes presents a significant health challenge for Aotearoa and it should be a major priority for health investment. We should be seeing a comprehensive, multi-faceted strategy to address this disease on all fronts.

Prevention and better quality care could reduce costly hospitalisations. Indeed, half of the cases of of kidney failure and dialysis; blindness and amputation could be prevented if there was more investment in moving upstream.

We need gold star treatment and we need it now.

One of the most bizarre statements in this years Estimates is the following: “The Ministry of Health is the Government’s Primary Advisor on health policy and issues, and its contribution to improving health and independence is largely indirect.”

One would have thought a policy agency would take direct responsibility for analysing the demographic trends, assessing the population demand and forecasting appropriate interventions.

The recent economic study commissioned from Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates that current services for diabetes cost the taxpayer $247m. If current services are kept at similar levels the estimated costs of diabetes will be over a billion dollars each year by 2021 in current dollar terms .

This is because the projected increase in numbers of people developing complications such as blindness, limb amputation, dialysis requiring hospitalisation would results in diabetes services accounting for approximately 12% of total health spending by 2021.

Price Waterhousecoopers also noted that while there has been some investment by the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards into the development of diabetes prevention programmes, it is miniscule.

We can not sit back and allow costs to accelerate, lives to be lost, while a “degree of apathy and indifference” permeates the “Ministry of Health and District Health Boards” .

The Government – if it is genuine about addressing diabetes will invest considerably more now - to prevent a blow out of costs both personal and fiscal in the future.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election