September 20, 2013
Kaumatua manaakitanga drives health policy
The Public Health Association has spotlighted the importance of kaumatua in setting health objectives.
The association’s annual conference this week acknowledged the work of Tangata Manaaki Tangata, an Orakei-based kaumatua group, in pushing for a sinking lid policy for gambling venues in Tamaki Makaurau.
Anthony Hawke from Maori public health trust Hapai Te Hauora Tapui, says it’s one of a number of issues the kaumatua have tackled over the past five years.
He says Hapai Te Hauora originally convened the roopu to be compliant with the terms of their contracts, but soon found it had considerable value for the organisation.
"There’s a mandatory piece of specification that says we must have consultation with kaumatua. So it was about making sure that it was meaningful and responsive consultation. So hopefully, they've done more than just influence policy, they have actually designed the contracts," he says.
Mr Hawke says the collective experience of Tangata Manaaki Tangata has helped Hapai Te Hauora form partnerships with a wide range of groups, increasing its effectiveness.
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