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Māori Health Leaders mount historic Waitangi Tribunal Claim

For Immediate Release

10 October 2018

Māori Leaders in Health mount historic Waitangi Tribunal Claim

Claims from two groups of Māori health leaders are being heard in the Waitangi Tribunal from 15 October next week at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia as part of stage one of the its national kaupapa inquiry into health services and outcomes.

The two claimant groups (under claims Wai 1315 and Wai 2687) say that inequity and institutionalised racism in the health system currently exists and the situation must change. The shared position is based on national Māori health statistics and status which is evident of the Crown failure to care for Māori health and wellbeing.

They share the view that Mana Motuhake, self determination and Māori autonomy produces better health outcomes and saves lives. The claimants seek recommendations from the Tribunal for legislative reform of the system for Māori to have autonomy of their own healthcare services to organise, develop and deliver.

“Our Wai claim has been 13 years in the waiting after first filing back in 2005 in response to the Government’s Primary Health Care Strategy. What we saw then continues now - the system is not meeting the needs of Māori. The inequalities that exist between Māori health and the health of others is a national outcry for our people and our Nation” says, Lady Tureiti Moxon, Managing Director of Te Kōhao Health, submitting on behalf of Wai 1315, a group of Māori involved in Primary care in the North Island.

Both claimant groups consider the Crown did not establish the health system to work for Māori. By elevating Mana Motuhake it enables the claimants to determine solutions that work for whānau given the extensive knowledge that they possess. The effect is Tino Rangatiratanga, Māori will take responsibility for Māori health and well-being.

“The ultimate solution lies in constitutional reform based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi that entrenches equity of outcome and Māori participation in achieving this” says Simon Royal, Chief Executive of the National Hauora Coalition and claimant in WAI 2687 - the other claim being heard in stage one. “In the meantime legislative reform and public policy change is required ensuring Māori health is adequately resourced - so we can see Māori thrive.”

The claimant groups are looking to the Tribunal to focus its recommendations on a future for Māori where Māori have control over hauora and where there is support for Māori whānau. The claimants also seek recommendations on redress for issues faced by Māori that have tried in earnest to implement Hauora Māori within a system that disregards Māori systems of care.

Background

• Around 200 groups and individuals have taken claims to the Waitangi Tribunal about Māori health services and outcomes and the Waitangi Tribunal are hearing these as part of the WAI 2575 - the health kaupapa inquiry

• These 200 claims are varied and reveal a real complexity in the way the Crown has siloed, mistreated or ignored Māori health and wellbeing.

• Because of this large task, the Tribunal has grouped claims into themes and will hear two of the claims that are focused on primary health care in October in what it’s calling stage one of the inquiry.

• Witnesses presenting evidence before the Tribunal include an expert from a global delegation from Alaska that are international pioneers in primary health care redesign, alongside many Māori leaders in the field involved health service delivery and management including former Cabinet Minister, John Tamihere and health academics from across the country. A number of interested parties have also been granted the ability to give evidence and have witnesses appearing in the second week of hearings.

Leaders in Māori health care

• The two claimant groups have their own experiences and evidence of Treaty of Waitangi breaches and have articulated these in their separate claims. However, there are some clear commonalities between the two claims which is why we are releasing a joint media statement.

• The Wai 1315 claimants are Tureiti Moxon (Te Kōhao Health / National Urban Māori Authority), Hakopa Paul, Piripi Hikairo (Te Manu Toroa / Ngā Mataapuna Oranga), Janice Kuka (Ngā Maatapuna Oranga) and Taitimu Maipi (Waikato-Tainui Kaumātua representing Waahi Pa, Papakura Marae and Rakura Hauora O Tainui).

• The WAI 2687 claimants are Simon Royal, Chief Executive of the National Hauora Coalition (NHC), and Henare Mason, a trustee for the NHC. More information on the NHC is available at its website www.nhc.maori.nz

ends

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