Waatea News Column: If anything proves why we need a new Māori Health Authority, it is this!

If anything proves why we need a new Māori Health Authority, it is this!

The shocking revelations last week of the Ministry of Health undercounting Māori vaccinations by as many as 100 000 is just another reason why a truly independent Māori Health Authority should be the preference over the behind the scenes bureaucratic power sharing arrangement it currently is proposed as.

The reason why the Ministry of Health adopted this measurement that undercounted is because it’s retrospective of all Māori users of their services and easy to collect.

Actually having to fund community outreach to places that aren’t welcoming or are suspicious of them is hard and difficult, especially if you have little whanau connection.

Mainstream health providers are set to engage with people who actively want to engage with them, they are not experts at reaching out to these Māori communities so funding for this outreach always gets downgraded and robbed by other louder budgets. The proposed Māori Health Authority that Christopher Luxon is so against will merely be able to fight to boost those community outreach budgets alongside funding contracts to do it.

That’s how underwhelming the current proposed Māori Health Authority framework really is.

We need a far bolder plan for Māori Health outcomes than a bureaucratic power sharing arrangement with the blunt force of a veto.

The pandemic highlighted the bleeding gums of our inequality, we have an obligation to fix what was broken.

First published on Waatea News.

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