A health system provided by Māori for Māori, says Tamihere



Claimants John Tamihere, former Prime Minister, and Simon Royal (right), President of the National Hauora Coalition, Hongi on Tūrangawaewae Marae on Tuesday.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY / STUFF

Claimants John Tamihere, former Prime Minister, and Simon Royal (right), President of the National Hauora Coalition, Hongi on Tūrangawaewae Marae on Tuesday.

Māori must come to the forefront of their own health system because hiring a "pair of beautiful brown faces" does not cut it, said a former cabinet minister.

John Tamihere, chief executive of the Western Authority of Auckland Town Māori Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust, presented his case at a major Waitangi Tribunal hearing on Tūrangawaewae Marae on Tuesday.

More than 200 claimants claim that the Crown's failure to address Māori's inequality is a violation of the Treaty of Waitangi.

"The point that we bring to this tribunal is that our people have the right to self-determination and self-management.

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"The difference between a Māori kaimahi who works in one of our provider groups is that they were born and embedded in that community.

"They can not get out before 9:00 am and they can not get out before 17:00 and they will work with passion in particular – you will not get that in a DHB that you will not get in. another government department.

"Of course they can rent a few beautiful brown faces, but unfortunately they can not change their culture [organisation]. "

Former Prime Minister John Tamihere presented his claim during a Waitangi Tribunal hearing at Tūrangawaewae Marae on Tuesday.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY / STUFF

Former Prime Minister John Tamihere presented his claim during a Waitangi Tribunal hearing at Tūrangawaewae Marae on Tuesday.

Tamihere said the Whānau Ora initiative, powered by Māori cultural values, is the perfect example of a successful model run by Māori for Māori.

However, it is also an essence of policy and risks the kind of changes in the future, making it difficult for Māori Primary Health Organizations (PHOs) and providers to survive.

And every institution that is a creature of policy and not included in legislation is vulnerable to the government that simply changes its mind.

Tamihere said that a large proportion of government money went to regular agencies and if Māori received 14 or 15 percent of that budget, no tribunal hearing would be necessary.

"Unless we get more recognition and invest more in Māori self-management programs, there will be a food abuse about the failure of Māoridom.

"It's economy 101 – if you reward people to manage our failure, they do, but if you invest in people who want to cure it and sort it out, it will go down.

"Whānau Ora has demonstrated on the peanuts that it gets that we can do better than anyone at any size."


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