ACC introduces kaupapa Māori navigation services

ACC has launched a new free kaupapa Māori support service, aimed at assisting Māori clients in managing their service claims with ACC.

This service is now available in five North Island regions, Te Tai Tokerau (Northland), Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Waikato, Te Moana a Toi (Bay of Plenty), and Te Tairāwhiti (Gisborne).

To ensure effective delivery, ACC has collaborated with 13 different hauora (wellness) providers, among which is the Poutiri Centre in Te Puke.

ACC’s deputy chief executive, Amanda Malu, says working with Māori organisations to jointly design the Kaupapa Māori Navigation Service, is a strategy which recognises Māori expertise and guarantees Māori clients will receive support in a culturally appropriate way.

“We have 13 kaupapa Māori navigation services available across the North Island. One of the 13 is the Poutiri Trust Wellness Centre in Te Puke, whose navigation service providers are already well-connected in the community.

“The relationships that it has with its community will help whānau in their communities to access ACC services better than anyone can and it’s great for that main reason,” Malu says.

‘Helping them feel justified’

Poutiri Wellness Centre chairperson Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford says that despite the service being only three weeks old, the wellness centre is delighted to offer whānau the support they rightfully deserve.

“It’s early days but we already have a number of whānau that we are working with, and those whānau are the people who didn’t know what they were entitled to anything, so it’s about helping whānau who didn’t have the confidence to connect with ACC and it’s been really huge for us to be able to walk up alongside them and let all whānau know that we are here to help them with their ACC inquires.”

Poutiri Wellness Centre’s ACC Māori navigator, Lisa Tauariki, says many of her clients face challenges in navigating their entitled services through ACC.

“Being able to assist those experiencing difficulties and making a positive impact in their lives is so rewarding.

“It’s not just about entitlements or pūtea (money) they are entitled to, it’s about helping them feel justified in themselves and their conditions because most whānau who come through are the ones who have had their fair of challenges with their past experience with ACC, so to have them actually feel they have got the support through our mahi makes this kaupapa worth it, especially when their conditions are justified because whānau Māori deserve everything that they are entitled to.”