December 07, 2021
Data delay dereliction of duty
The chair of the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency says the Health Ministry’s response to getting Māori vaccinated is starting to look like dereliction of duty.
The High Court yesterday found for the second time that the ministry had got it process wrong when it refused to give the agency the data it holds on unvaccinated Māori in the North Island.
It also found a breach of natural justice in not including Whānau Ora in the consultation with iwi it used to justify those decisions.
The ministry was given 72 hours to complete its decision in releasing data on unvaccinated Māori and to review its decision regarding first dose data.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says she doesn’t think all the delays have been deliberate, but the effect is Māori whānau miss out.
“I’m not going to be that unkind to think they have done that purposely in the hope, not that we would go away but in the hope that our Māori whānau would not receive the care and the attention and the vaccination they need. If I would think that then I would think that there has been an orchestrated attempt to prevent Māori getting the vaccination they need and that to me is tantamount to dereliction of duty on behalf of the Ministry of Health and also on behalf of this Government as well,” she says.
Ms Raukawa-Tait says the ministry needs to put aside its opposition to the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency and hand the data over.