DHB releases regional health profiles in te reo Māori for the first time

Snapshots of Māori health in 20 District Health Board (DHB) regions all around New Zealand have been released today in te reo Māori for the very first time. 

Lead researcher Bridget Robson says that it’s important to have this information in te reo Māori.

“The people and communities most affected must have the statistics in their own language. We hope they will assist reo speakers to engage with Māori health data and advocate for the issues affecting their communities,” says Ms Robson.

“The profiles are a useful base for identifying key issues and planning actions to improve Māori health. They provide information in te reo for Māori in communities, in services providing health care, and on boards making decisions about health spending,” she says.

The 2015 Māori Health Profiles were researched and compiled by Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, at the University of Otago, Wellington.

Commissioned by the Ministry of Health, they focus on the health status of Māori, and reveal where there are inequalities compared to non-Māori. The reports were translated into te reo Māori by Piripi Walker.

Meanwhile, new figures from the Ministry of Health show 12 out of 20 district health boards have not been fully funded this year to cope with the aging population, according to Labour Health spokesperson Annette King.

“The Ministry’s own figures to the Health Select Committee show that – as part of $1.7 billion of Government cuts to the sector over the past six years – DHBs are not getting enough money to meet the costs of New Zealand’s growing elderly population,” says King, “some DHBs are having to cap the number of nurses and doctors because there is not enough funding in spite of a growing need for services.”

The 20 profiles include indicators of whānau wellbeing, housing and income, health service use and health status.

They are publicly available and can be used by any individual or organisation with an interest in hauora Māori. The summary documents are available in English as well as in te reo.

The regional health profiles, in both te reo Māori and English, can be found here:  www.otago.ac.nz/MHP2015