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


Decades of Disparity III Bad News for the Govt

Decades of Disparity III Bad News for the Government;

‘Racism rampant in the provision of health services’ says Turia

Tuesday 9 May 2006

In 1986, a ministerial advisory committee to the Department of Social Welfare, brought to the attention of the Government of the day, ‘the faces of racism’: which identified the impact of personal racism, cultural racism and institutional racism. Then Minister of Social Welfare, Labour Minister Hon Dame Ann Hercus, received the daybreak report entitled Puao-te-ata-tu, which advised Government:

“The most insidious and destructive form of racism though, is institutional racism. It is the outcome of mono-cultural institutions which simply ignore and freeze out the cultures of those who do not belong to the majority”.

Exactly two decades on, to be presented with further compelling evidence that ‘historical and social processes that systematically disadvantage Maori such as colonisation, discrimination and racism, are still having a clear impact on ethnic disparities in mortality is a huge concern to the Maori Party, said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party and health spokesperson.

“The Decades of Disparity III report will be a huge blow to the Government as it prepares for Budget 2006” stated Mrs Turia.

“We are of course concerned - but unsurprised - at the finding that Maori are disproportionately affected by the health consequences of lower socio-economic status. We have repeatedly raised the issues of the urgent need to address poverty, particularly for those families who are discriminated against by the Working for Families package. The report today, merely emphasizes the urgency of this need”.

“But big questions also have to be asked about the capacity of the health system to say it is responding to the needs of all citizens, if one group is constantly achieving lower rates of mortality than another, and yet both are receiving similar socio-economic resources”.

“This is a very important report, which the Maori Party will be taking time to consider further” stated Mrs Turia.

“We cannot argue with the facts anymore - yes, socio-economic status is a significant factor in understanding ethnic disparities. But we also need to be open to understanding the faces of racism - and to be able to reflect on the changes we need to make to our health practices truly effective for all”.

“The Ministry of Health will be critical in providing us with the information and the solutions as to how to address racism”.

“It may be as simple as reminding clinicians that when Maori or Pacific clients come to their attention for asthma management, that they consider options for treatment as well as preventive approaches”.

“Just two weeks ago, we received a report from the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation which stated that bias and discrimination are commonly cited barriers for Maori in accessing health care” said Mrs Turia.

“I said at the time, that we must all work in a concerted way towards the elimination of racism, otherwise such disparities will continue to grow".

“And yet last week in Parliament, Associate Minister of Health, Jim Anderton, responded to my questions by stating, “that if the member has evidence of that systemic bias and supplies it to me, I will get comment back to her”.

“I have to wonder, how much evidence of systemic bias will come before the Government before they start to take this message seriously. Now that he has the latest information, I look forward to his comments”, said Mrs Turia.

“The Government and its Ministers seem to be in denial of factual evidence of bias and discrimination which even the Special Rapporteur (after nine days) was able to demonstrate existed” said Mrs Turia.

“Now we have this report. The message from the latest report is clear. We must push ahead with Maori economic development to ensure that socio-economic disadvantage is reduced” concluded Mrs Turia. “And we must also concentrate our efforts in health promotion and health services to ensure that Maori are able to access and achieve excellent health outcomes; alongside all other New Zealanders”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>


Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>


United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>


Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election