Implementation of a West Coast pilot for the new health reforms and the arrival of the Māori Health Authority, will provide further opportunity to partner with manawhenua on health outcomes to an extent “never seen”.

West Coast District Health Board Hauora Māori general manager, Kylie Parkin, made the comment in her report to the board meeting on Friday, saying it should lead a transformational change “with equity for Māori at the very core” of the system.

“While the approach holds great promise for all, Māori whānau are particularly encouraged and hopeful that this change, and the absolute attention and intention to partner with Māori, and to do things differently, will mean a model that improves outcomes and access,” she said.

The reforms and the strengthening of the Māori provider sector through the response to Covid via the hub model on the West Coast had left the sector in good heart.

“I believe that we are in a very strong position to lead out a locality model that will significantly improve equity outcomes.”

Parkin said the increase in the number of Māori in kaiawhina (support), health care, allied health and mental health assistant roles, had been significant.

Work was being discussed to align all of those roles, irrelevant of what service they worked in.

“The aim is twofold – to support them as a critical workforce that will enable our health strategy, and to deliver an education and training programme and consistent leadership across this pivotal workforce.”

Māori health leadership and establishment of functions in the Māori Health Authority was next to be undertaken by the leadership team.

The first iwi-Māori partnership board had been announced and was a fundamental part of the new health system.
The boards would play an important role in working with other organisations to determine health and well-being priorities for their local areas.

“They will engage with whānau about local health needs and share insights with the Māori Health Authority, Health NZ and other health entities. The membership of other iwi-Māori partnership boards will be confirmed over the next few months ahead of their formal establishment on July 1.”

*Public interest journalism funded through NZ On Air*

Leave a comment