National | Jacinda Ardern

Māori Health Providers receive crumbs from the Crown funding pie

Lady Tureti Moxon of Te Kohao Health Centre Hamilton is unhappy at what she believes is an imbalance between funding from businesses and Māori health. Businesses receive government funding to the tune of $940 million per fortnight compared to $120 million for boosting Māori Vaccination rates.

“We get a little bit and are told we should move on.  Businesses are important of course they are, but so are lives”.  said Lady Moxon.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, while visiting Te Kohao Health Centre, “You can see our entire response around Covid has been about saving people's lives, protecting their health and at the same time working really hard to protect their livelihoods, our plan has been about both.”

Moxon and others have put a claim into the Waitangi Tribunal seeking access to health data. Moxon also alludes to the fact that Māori only gets a portion of the millions given to health providers. “We will be mentioning the fact that the funding, on the one hand, we have got this funding and on the other hand, we only getting this much. And we are still the ones lagging,” said Moxon.

“It's just food scraps. But we work on it.”

Mark Tumai, manager at Te Kohao Hauora was not happy with the cut of money dished out to Māori Health Providers around the country, from the total Health purse of $120 million dollars Māori Health Providers only receive $60 million to share between all Māori Health Providers in the country.

“It's just food scraps. But we work on it. We follow the sayings of Te Puea, get the job done.”

Paula Walker, a nurse at Te Kohao Health Centre who works at the front line of rolling out vaccinations says, “Money is always a good thing, in that way we can get more workers in and they can get paid the amount they deserve.”

Moxon was more than happy to receive the Prime Minister today, but she hoped to have a chance to share her concerns about data and the inequity of funding. “Until we get to a point we are actually making decisions together and co-designing we are always going to be dictated to and it will always be unfortunately a master-servant relationship,” said Moxon.

On the 22nd of October, the Government announced a budget for Business Boost to transition to the new Covid framework.

  • RSP rate doubled and paid fortnightly, up to $43,000 per business
  • Wage subsidy will continue through the transition period
  • The cost of new RSP and wage subsidy is up to $940 million per fortnight
  • $60 million packages for Regional Business Partner Programme and mental health support

At the same time, the Government announced the $120m for Māori will be split in two: there will be $60m to further support vaccination rates and $60m to support Māori and iwi-led initiatives that aim to protect communities from Covid-19.