Monocultural health system 'needs an overhaul'

By Te Kuru o te Marama Dewes

Waitangi Tribunal claimant and Māori health leader Lady Tureiti Moxon (Ngāti Pahauwera, Kahungunu and Ngāi Tahu) is calling on the Crown to respond to the Waitangi Tribunal Hauora Report with more urgency.  Moxon says Māori are disadvantaged by a monocultural and racist health system.                         

“Our people are dying on a daily basis from preventable disease and they're not getting the services and help that they need when they need it.”

Moxon says inequities in health include Māori being underfunded by $349mil since 2005, as evidenced in a report by Deloitte.

“We have to compete alongside the universalism of a mono-cultural society for resources and that's been their plight and it certainly continues to be the plight of Māori today.

“It's always difficult to participate as Māori in this country because we are actually pushed out of participating in the resources that there are and the expertise that is required to continue to work with our people in our own way.”

In June 2019, The Waitangi Tribunal released the Hauora Report.  Among the recommendations is an investigation into a stand-alone Māori health authority.

“We have a system that is very mono-cultural and we need to be looking at that from the perspective of who our doctors are, who our nurses are, who are leading our hospitals and the institutional racism that flourishes within it.”

Moxon says the Crown is not showing enough urgency in the process.

“What we want to do is sit down with the Crown now, sit down with the Minister now, but if we don't, what they're going to be doing is pushing it out, pushing it out and that's what they're doing they're dragging the chain and not coming to the table.”

The Crown and claimants have until January 2020 to address the recommendations of the report.