Politics | Māori Health Authority

Māori back Te Aka Whaiora after negative report

Māori health organisations continue to support the Māori health authority, Te Aka Whaiora.

They’re disappointed by a recent review of the new entity, calling it premature and unfair.

“This is a new organisation and there is a lot of work that has gone into setting it up,” National Hauora Coalition clinical director Ranche Johnson says.

Te Kāhui Hauora Māori (the Māori primary health organisations collective) is a network made up of the five Māori primary health organisations across Aotearoa and National Hauora Coalition chief executive Dr Rachel Brown says undertaking an assessment of Te Aka Whai Ora so soon after its establishment was premature and unfair.

“Gathering feedback and having checkpoints to assess progress in any business is a helpful tool but reviewing Te Aka Whai Ora after just 10 months of operations and in isolation from the wider system is fundamentally unfair,” Brown says.

The report found the authority had underspent by $66 million and failed to recruit enough staff from the former district health boards. It also mentioned “tension” between the Ministry of Health and Te Aka Whaiora.

“Show me a government department where there’s no tension,” says Taima Campbell from Te Puna Haoura Matua o Hauraki.

“We’ve got the ability to engage with a lot more people both in Te Whatu Ora and Te Aka Whai Ora to say ‘This is what our community is saying, what’s important to us and we feel like we’re being heard’.”