October 11, 2023
Te Aka Whai Ora gone by Christmas in Reti agenda
National Party health spokesperson Shane Reti says if elected on Saturday, National would keep parliament in session until Christmas if needed to dismantle Labour reforms like the Māori health authority Te Aka Whai Ora.
In his own portfolio area he has five major targets for the first hundred days, including setting targets for wait times in cancer treatment and improving the emergency department workforce.
“Thirdly I’ll introduce legislation around the Maori health authority. Fourthly I want to introduce legislation to increase that breast cancer screening age up to 74 years and finally I want to sign a MOU with Waikato University to start progressing that third medical school, so quite and ambitious agenda but quite confident we can achieve that,” Dr Reti says.
He intends to retain iwi-Maori partnership boards as a way of partnering with Maori for health outcomes.
Health Coalition Aotearoa says scrapping Te Aka Whai Ora poses a grave threat to the health and wellbeing of tangata whenua.
Co-chair Dr Lisa Te Morenga said it would weaken Māori advocacy for better control over the alcohol, tobacco, vaping and unhealthy food industries – whose products disproportionately harmed them.
The establishment of Te Aka Whai Ora followed recommendations from the Waitangi Tribunal and an independent Health and Disability System Review – which found the health system had failed to recognise and properly provide for tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake of Māori health, resulting in Maori having the the poorest health status of any ethnic group in New Zealand.