Te ORA calls for a permanent ceasefire, an immediate end to the siege in Gaza, an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and for the New Zealand government and the global community to immediately impose cultural, political, academic and economic sanctions on the state of Israel, just as it did to apartheid South Africa, until there is a Free Palestine.
The Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) asserts that “The interests and safety of patients must always be your first concern”. Further, in its Cultural Safety Standards for doctors, the MCNZ states cultural safety requires us to consider, “challenging the cultural bias of individual colleagues or systemic bias within health care services, which may contribute to poor health outcomes for patients of different cultures”.
Te ORA takes these moral and ethical responsibilities seriously. We consider the patients of our international medical colleagues to be of equal humanity and dignity as our own patients. Thus, in the event that our international colleagues cannot advocate for the rights of their patients, Te ORA extends our voices and our support to them, with every expectation that if ever the tables were turned, our international colleagues would speak up for us, our patients, and our communities.
Te ORA wishes to convey its deepest grief and solidarity with the people of Palestine, experiencing genocide on the background of a cruel occupation by Israel. It is in line with our own tikanga Māori values as tāngata whenua, with medical ethics in our medical practice, with cultural safety and standards of professionalism as guided by the MCNZ, and as members of the global Indigenous and health communities that we stand in support of a Free Palestine.
We extend our solidarity to all peoples and nations under occupation and facing genocide when we say the words Free Palestine. We are strengthened in our solidarity as we remember Indigenous Māori leader and scholar Dr Moana Jackson, who drawing upon the words of Dr Martin Luther King stated, “the arc of history does curve towards what is just”, and we end with the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, “nobody’s free until everybody’s free”. With that we say, Free Palestine.
For more information contact the Te ORA Office (0279608744)
As members of Te ORA, we acknowledge our privilege which means we have the capacity and ability to carefully read and scrutinise research papers, media reports, and other sources of information to come to a reasonable conclusion. We are grateful to the members of our group who did this research and educated the rest of us on the situation. We have written a report of this research, including cited references, which can be found at https://teora.maori.nz/te-ohu-rata-o-aotearoa-the-maori-medical-practitioners-association-te-ora-statement-of-solidarity-with-palestine/