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Simpson Report - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Today the Health and Disability System Review, otherwise known as the ‘Simpson Report’ was released taking Māori health an aspirational step forward by mooting for a separate Māori Authority.

However it took two steps back due to the lack of detail and consensus among the advisory panel on the control of funding and commissioning of services for Māori by such a new entity.

Lady Tureiti Moxon Chair of the National Urban Māori Authority and Managing Director of Te Kōhao Health, Waikato acknowledges all the hard work by Ms Simpson and her panel of expert advisors.

“This report endorses the views of the Waitangi Tribunal, it recognises the inequity suffered by Māori yet also shows the capacity of Māori Health Providers.”

“Now we call on the Government to take a further leap of faith by supporting Māori determining what works for Māori and demonstrate this in a meaningful way,” Lady Tureiti says.

“That means sharing power by enabling Māori to be in complete charge of funding and commissioning as we understand what works for our people. Just like we were empowered to do during lockdown through the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency.”

“The Government entrusted this Māori Authority with mandated resources in the Budget which were expedited effectively and fairly to those most in need.”

“We see the principle of determining our own health system being no different to that.” 

Te Mātāwai, which is charged with revitalising te reo Māori as another example Lady Tureiti lists as a separate Māori Authority successfully serving whānau.

A stand alone, fully funded Māori Health Authority is not a new concept to be placed before the Government for consideration and enactment.

Back in July 2019 the Waitangi Tribunal after reviewing 16,000 pages of damning evidence released its historic Hauora Report advancing this solution that also supported a new funding regime for Māori Health Providers.

Lady Tureiti supports a kaupapa Māori agency that is owned, governed and managed by Māori, for Māori, with Māori. A culturally aligned Mātauranga Māori framework based on a Te Ao Māori view.

It would result in consistent funding and result in Māori Health Providers being less dependent on DHBs.

The impact of this investment and control would result in improving outcomes of all whānau particularly higher-needs populations that are often served by Māori Health Providers.

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