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Treaty in health legislation a first for NZ

2 Here-turi-koka 2000 (August) Media Statement

Treaty in health legislation a first for New Zealand

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia says the reference to the Treaty of Waitangi is a first for health legislation in this country.

Today the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Bill will be tabled by the Minister of Health.

"Improving the health of whanau is a necessary part of their development. The coalition government has shown its commitment by having the Treaty clause in this significant piece of legislation. It is important, because this is the first time there has been reference to the Treaty in our health legislation. The challenge is to ensure that it can be applied in practice.

"In order for this legislation to facilitate the development of whanau through improved health status, we must ensure it is of the highest quality.

"It is now of some urgency that our whanau, hapu and iwi and Maori health providers are able to analyse this legislation, including the Treaty clause to assess whether you think it best supports the development of successful health outcomes for Maori.

"Government will succeed in delivering good outcomes for Maori which serve people when the legislation, policies and programmes meet Maori needs. Whanau, hapu and iwi must vigourously articulate how the Treaty can facilitate those successful outcomes.

"I will be actively discussing this legislation with whanau, hapu, iwi and Maori health providers.

"I strongly urge you all to seriously consider the legislation and to participate collectively or individually in the select committee process at which the bill is open to public scrutiny, through written or oral submission," Tariana Turia said.

ENDS

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