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Historic Māori – Crown Joint Memorandum FilingFormation Of Independent Māori Health Authority Another Step Closer

The six Waitangi Tribunal claimants in the Stage One of the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry have agreed and filed a historic Joint Memorandum with the Crown detailing the terms of reference for an independent Māori Health Authority.

It reveals the proposed structure to be considered by Minister Little at a time when relevant legislation is currently being developed by the Government. The Joint Memorandum records the Crown’s agreement to the creation of a Māori Health Authority and engaging with the claimants on the terms of reference.

“The devil is always in the detail and this still needs further engagement with Māori however this is a positive and fundamental step in our united journey in determining how Māori improve health for Māori,” says Lady Tureiti Moxon, Chair of National Urban Māori Authority.

“As the Treaty partner, Māori will be holding the Crown to these commitments, so we actually achieve equitable outcomes for our people. There is substantial evidence over decades that Māori can and do improve the health of Māori.”

The formal submission explicitly outlines a set of core design principles that will be applied to the Authority’s structure and form. It has been signed off by Counsel for the Crown.

At the top of the list is operational independence, adequate and enduring funding and ‘mana motuhake’ – Māori control over health and wellbeing including service design, delivery and monitoring.

Embedding the voice of diverse Māori groups and populations while respecting rangatiratanga of hapū, Iwi, marae and whānau is also mandated.

The framework details the functioning of the Māori Health Authority and essential structural features.

Inclusive engagement to encourage broad thinking across the country is the next step so the feasibility case can be developed.

The proposed consultation will be through face-to-face sessions co-hosted between the claimants and the Crown and supported by opportunities for written feedback.

“This is only the start. Day in and day out particularly during these times of COVID-19 Maori are showing success, leadership and innovation in every sphere as they wrap support around the vulnerable.

Embracing our own way of doing things as exemplified by Māori initiatives will help Aotearoa to be a world leader in health,” Lady Tureiti says.

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