December 06, 2021
Extra effort needed for Māori equity
The New Zealand Māori Council has accused the government of putting politics before the needs of Māori people in its response to the Covid pandemic.
Kicking off an urgent Waitangi Tribunal hearing today, council secretary Peter Fraser said Māori organisations had unanimously rejected the shift to the traffic light system because of lagging vaccination rates, but their concerns and advice were ignored.
He said when the government moved away from the elimination strategy, it exposed Māori to all the problems with the health system which the tribunal has already identified in its Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry.
Equity does not mean giving equal health treatment to Māori without regard for particular Māori need – the principle of equity requires the crown to address those needs so Māori can enjoy equal health outcomes.
The online hearing will continue all week, with the crown presenting its evidence on Thursday.