Whakatau 2023 | Māori Health

Te Pāti Māori wants free health and dental for families on $60k or less

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Te Pāti Māori leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa Packer. Photo / NZ Herald

Te Pāti Māori will introduce a number of initiatives if they are part of the next government, in its soon-to-be-announced health policies.

The NZ Herald understands Te Pāti Māori will announce its plan to:

  1. drop cancer screening for Māori by 10 years;
  2. implement a Māori health card;
  3. establish a Māori Accident Compensation Corporation;
  4. establish a kaupapa Māori mental health service;
  5. free GP and dental visits for families on $60k or less; and
  6. increase funding for Te Aka Whai Ora - the Māori Health Authority.

The party’s health policies also include a wish list, comprising of:

  • free delivery of medication to homes of whānau who earn less than $60,000;
  • $1 billion a year investment in health workforce development;
  • accelerating and protecting matauranga Māori health models;
  • more funding for Pharmac.

Te Pāti Māori also want 25 per cent of all health funding to be transferred to and administered by Te Aka Whai Ora.

The party says significant underinvestment in Māori health means on average, Māori die 10 years earlier than non-Māori of cancer.

“The health system has failed Māori, and we need to move to a ‘to Māori, by Māori, for Māori’ approach. The Covid-19 vaccination approach is very a good example of how Māori pivoted to deliver health services to Māori and non-Māori better than any other organisation.”

Māori providers administered over one million Covid vaccines.

Te Pāti Māori also believes Whānau Ora is the key to improving Māori health and wellbeing and health funding should be part of a cross-sectorial investment approach.

One key policy is that GP care for whānau earning under $60,000 must be free.

“The cost of kai has increased. The cost of petrol has increased. The cost of rent and mortgages has increased. Whānau have no money left to pay for basic healthcare,” the party’s health manifesto says.

“Our hospital services and ambulances are not coping. We need to invest more in preventative care and primary care to take the pressure off the secondary care system.

“This policy will support over three million people in Aotearoa have access to free primary healthcare.”

The same goes for dental care.

“Dental care will be free for whānau earning less than $60,000.


Public Interest Journalism