March 16, 2022
Māori Health Authority being built to last
The co-chair of the Interim Māori Health Authority says its first funding round should give people an indication of where it’s going.
The $22 million in spending announced yesterday was spread around mātauranga Māori initiatives and services, expanding existing rongoā services, supporting Māori approaches to population health, and workforce development.
Tipa Mahuta says there’s also money to set up iwi Māori partnership boards, so whānau can have a say about their own health needs,
“The mainstream population may not understand but it’s not their health that has been lagging in the past couple of hundred years so we need to do what we need to do and it’s not until we have some results to show, not only in the mainstream but our own people, that we will get more confidence in the different approaches we require as a population, as Maori,” she says.
Ms Mahuta says over the Covid pandemic Māori health providers have proved their effectiveness, so some of the money is going to ensure their sustainability.
Tipa Mahuta says while there’s no guarantee that future governments will continue with the separate Māori Health Authority the best way to ensure its future is to prove its worth.
National’s new finance spokesperson and deputy leader, Nicola Willis, has questioned spending on the health restructure rather than offering relief from the rising cost of living.
Ms Mahuta says the authority intends to build sustainable opportunities so no government will argue against what it has done because it builds the capacity of Māori to look after themselves.