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Interim Health and Disability System Review Falls Short

Interim Health and Disability System Review Falls Short

Two longstanding Waitangi Tribunal claimants say the interim findings of the Health and Disability System Review appear to be saying all the right things about the persistent failings for Māori.

However it doesn’t delve far enough in addressing how structural reform is paramount to achieve practicable health outcomes to address inequities and honour rights under te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi.

“Overall the Interim report / Pūrongo mō tēnei wā is better than I expected but it still falls short of our expectations considering the overwhelming evidence and subsequent comprehensive recommendations for Māori arising from the Wai 1315 claim,” says claimant Janice Kuka, Chief Executive Officer of Ngā Mataapuna Oranga.

A clear pathway in the form of a new Māori Health Authority, funding methodology, compensation and proposed law reform was recommended by the Waitangi Tribunal in the historic Hauora Report back in July.

Mandating that clearly in the directions for change within the Health and Disability System Review would be one of the biggest gains in the performance of the 80 year old health system the claimants’ believe.

Recognising the principles and values of Te Tiriti o Waitangi also needed to be voiced much stronger in the interim report co-claimant, Lady Tureiti Moxon Managing Director of Te Kōhao Health and Chair of the National Urban Māori Authority says.

“A mana motuhake or ‘by Māori, for Māori’ solution that we design is a must not only as part of meeting the Crown’s legal obligations to the Treaty - it’s the cornerstone of the new framework necessary that we’ll determine ourselves.”

Kuka points out that this interim report is really about “setting the scene for the next five to ten years”.

By comparison the next stage of the Waitangi Tribunal claim is “more immediate and about tomorrow” given she and other claimants’ need to report back to the Crown after seven months.

Lady Moxon did praise the Health and Disability System Review for looking at the Community Health Hubs, taking health services back into the communities where the greatest needs are.

“This has got to be good for Māori and the rest of Aotearoa,” she says.

The Health and Disability System Review will be finalised by March 2020 whereas the claimants’ report back to the Crown on the proposed terms of reference for a separate Health Authority, resourcing and recompense will be actioned by January 2020.

Lady Moxon and Ms Kuka say that this new report again demonstrates the need for the Crown to work with Māori, and they urge the Ministry of Health to follow the recommendation of the Waitangi Tribunal to engage with the claimants without delay.


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