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ACC Downgrades Safeguarding Māori From Injury And Sexual Violence

The PSA is concerned that ACC’s huge overhaul is proposing to remove specialist roles dedicated to helping Māori avoid injury and sexual violence.

"Māori health outcomes will worsen if ACC carries out its proposal to cut a number of dedicated roles in injury prevention, including sexual violence education," said Janice Panoho Te Kaihautū Māori for the Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

The team that specialises in Māori injury prevention is being halved from 10 roles to 5.

This includes specialist Māori roles working in the sexual violence area. These are part of Oranga Whakapapa - a healthy relationships programme that develops mana-enhancing programmes to address the causes of violence.

The changes are part of the wider ACC restructure announced last week which proposes to shed 390 jobs including 29 dedicated injury prevention jobs in total.

"The proposal flies in the face of evidence. Māori work in more dangerous occupations so are more likely to suffer workplace injuries. Research shows Māori are two and a half times as likely to experience serious injury. Māori are 50% more likely to die in the 30 days following a major trauma.

"What happened to evidence-based decision-making the Government promised?

"As well, eliminating sexual violence in Māori communities can only be achieved through a te ao Māori lens, applying our knowledge and working closely with iwi and whānau. This comes on top of ACC proposing to remove another specialist sexual violence role.

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"ACC should be investing more, not less if it was really committed to making lasting improvements in these critical areas so tamariki, rangatahi and whānau can live healthier, better, safer lives.

"As other public service cuts such as at Oranga Tamariki are proving, this government seems wilfully blind to the impacts its rushed changes will have on Māori," said Janice Panoho.

Note:

The Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi is Aotearoa New Zealand's largest trade union, representing and supporting more than 95,000 workers across central government, state-owned enterprises, local councils, health boards and community groups.

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