Scrapping Māori Health Authority tramples over Te Tiriti o Waitangi

The Green Party condemns the Government’s latest trashing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi in rushing through legislation, without any public input, that will see Te Aka Whai Ora scrapped and the health of Māori neglected. 

“Disbanding Te Aka Whai Ora will have devastating and lasting impacts on the health and well-being of tangata whenua. Rushing this legislation through the House without public input and before the Waitangi Tribunal’s Urgent Inquiry into the matter is a subversion of our democracy and another example of the Te Tiriti trashing approach that has characterised this Government,” says Green Party spokesperson for Māori Health Hūhana Lyndon. 

“Scrapping Te Aka Whai Ora represents a step back to a status quo that has failed generation upon generation of Māori. The institutional neglect of the past has resulted in Māori dying at four times the rate of non-Māori from preventable disease and illness.

“Wāhine Māori are among those least likely to access cervical and breast screening, leaving them more likely to die from cancer whilst our tamariki have a mortality rate one-and-a-half times the rate found in others. All of this culminates in Māori, on average, having a life expectancy seven years shorter than non-Māori in Aotearoa. Te Aka Whai Ora was an opportunity to end the shameful legacy of neglect Māori have endured in healthcare. 

“Te Aka Whai Ora was the closest tino rangatiratanga compliant model in history. To end this work risks continuing poor health outcomes for Māori, to the enduring shame of this Government.

“The Green Party calls on the Government to halt its plans to abolish Te Aka Whai Ora and allow the Waitangi Tribunal the opportunity to assess the implications this would have before a final decision on the authority is made, ” says Hūhana Lyndon. 

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