MEDIA RELEASE – Māori Primary Health Care Claimants Vindicated

“The Report on Stage One of the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry has essentially supported all the claims brought against the Crown by primary health care claimants” said the Taumata members of Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa.  Although Te ORA’s WAI 2477 claim was not directly involved, Te ORA did have a ‘watching brief’ and various members of Te ORA were called as witnesses.

Professor Papārangi Reid, Associate Professor Sue Crengle, Drs Rawiri Jansen and Peter Jansen were called to support allegations that the primary health system, since the advent of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000, had failed to achieve health equity for Māori, is not fit for purpose and has inadequately resourced Māori primary health organisations and health providers. 

The Waitangi Tribunal, under Judge Steven Clark, found that the primary health care framework does not recognise or provide for tino rangatiratanga and mana motuhake of hauora Māori.  The Tribunal report says that the legislative, strategy and policy framework that administers the primary health care sector was not Treaty compliant and had failed to state a commitment to achieving equity of health outcomes; that the sector serving high needs populations was underfunded, particularly Māori health organisations; and that the Crown was aware of this but had consistently done nothing about this.

Finally, the Tribunal also identified insufficient monitoring systems, a lack of policy co-design for Māori health, major Māori health workforce gaps, few Māori staff in the Ministry of Health and little effective Māori participation in governance structures.

The Tribunal recommended amending the NZ Public Health and Disability Act 2000 to include an effective  Treaty of Waitangi clause and a solid commitment to equitable outcomes for Māori. They further suggested that the establishment of a Māori primary health care authority be explored within 6 months; that the underfunding of Māori providers be assessed and corrected; that a primary health care co-design with Māori be undertaken and that appropriate partnership relationships with Māori health experts, providers and communities be pursued.

Chair, Prof David Tipene-Leach said “Te ORA wishes to acknowledge the Stage One claimants and the meticulous work of the Waitangi Tribunal. We also wish to acknowledge the Ministry of Health who, in an unusually open hearted fashion, acknowledged many gaps in the past performance of the health sector.  We feel confident that the Ministry, will prioritise moving in the right direction regarding effective primary care for Māori communities and that we will see positive outcomes for Māori health”.  



Prof David Tipene-Leach (Chair) 0274773483

{ Dr Rawiri Jansen 021 729 474 }

{ Prof Papaarangi Reid 021501158 }

{ Associate Prof Sue Crengle 021832346 }


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