The Green Party welcomes the major healthcare reforms announced today by the Minister of Health, including the creation of a Māori Health Authority – Manatū Hauora Māori as we call it.
“We welcome the Government’s announcement on the creation of a Manatū Hauora Māori. There is a lot of mahi to do in this space, and we need to ensure the call from tangata whenua for an independent voice and commissioning power is implemented,” says Green Party Health spokesperson Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.
“It is paramount that Tino Rangatiratanga is reflected in resourcing and funding Manatū Hauora Māori, clearing any barriers the system may put in front of our people when they need treatment of any kind.
“The Green Party also welcomes a greater focus on prevention and in the bigger picture this needs to include recognising that raising incomes and providing more warm, dry homes are at the foundation of keeping people healthy.
“We recognise potential benefits from combining DHBs into a nationwide health agency, but it is essential local communities still have a say in the decisions that affect them. Publicly-funded health services must be flexible to meet the diverse needs of people of different ages, cultures, location, financial means, and disability.
“We will be looking for ways to ensure community participation, transparency, and accessibility to decision making. The idea of ‘consumer forums’ needs to be scrutinised because patients, whānau, and communities needing healthcare cannot be treated the same as consumers shopping for a new TV.
“My job now is to be part of discussions with the Ministers and their officials to ensure the engagement with Māori Health experts reflect the mana Māori hold as kaitiaki over whakapapa and hauora. I am committed to working alongside the Government over the next few months to reflect their intension to better partner with Māori.
“The time has come for Manatū Hauora Māori to have full authority, funding and resources to care for our people.”