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17 August, 2023

Māori PHOs speak out in support of Te Aka Whai Ora

Māori Primary Health Organisation’s (PHO’s) across Aotearoa are disappointed with the recently released Māori Health Advisory Committee Rapid Assessment, placing their support behind Te Aka Whai Ora as guiding the way forward for Māori health.

Te Kāhui Hauora Māori (the Māori PHO Collective) is a network made up of the 5 Māori PHO’s across Aotearoa and National Hauora Coalition CE Dr Rachel Brown says undertaking an assessment of Te Aka Whai Ora so soon after its establishment was premature and unfair.

“Gathering feedback and having checkpoints to assess progress in any business is a helpful tool, however reviewing Te Aka Whai Ora after just 10 months of operations and in isolation of the wider system is fundamentally unfair,” Rachel said.

“We are also disappointed to see that the release of the assessment has been used by some to spread mistruths about Te Aka Whai Ora, and once again, using initiatives that create real change for Māori as a political football. The reality is that Te Aka Whai Ora is a game changer for Māori health and we need it to not only exist but to flourish.”

“It is our understanding that while some board members have moved on, not a single Te Aka Whai Ora board member has been sacked and Te Aka Whai Ora kaimahi are made up of diverse cultures and backgrounds, employed for their skills and experience.”

Te Kāhui Hauora Māori says that since the establishment of Te Aka Whai Ora some 13 months ago, they have seen and felt the advancements of entity.

“As a collective and as individual PHO’s we are supportive of Te Aka Whai Ora and the work that they have done since they were established,” CE of Hauraki PHO, Taima Campbell said.

“Most notably, Te Aka Whai Ora have led the establishment of 15 Iwi Māori Partnership Board’s across the motū, distributed funding to hauora Māori providers and introduced scholarships to increase and support our workforce. This mahi was all delivered while also playing a significant role in cyclone recovery and supporting the many isolated and Māori communities that were impacted,” Taima said.

Janice Kuka, Chair of Ngā Mataapuna Oranga PHO says Te Aka Whai Ora is a necessary part of the health system to ensure a stronger focus on improving Māori health outcomes and ensuring equitable healthcare for Māori.

“I would say to Riana Manuel and her team at Te Aka Whai Ora – He waka eke noa (we are in this together). We know that there is still more work to be done and we whole-heartedly offer our support to Te Aka Whai Ora, in their journey to becoming a strong and vibrant entity that positively contributes to achieving whānau hauora and pae oranga,” Janice said.

Editor notes: Te Kāhui Hauora Māori is made up of the Ora Toa PHO (Porirua and Wellington), Ngāti Porou Hauora PHO (Gisborne – Te Araroa), Ngā Mataapuna Oranga (Western Bay of Plenty), the National Hauora Coalition (Auckland, with contracts and programmes operating in other areas) and Hauraki PHO (Waikato and Coromandel). Further information is available here.

For more information, please contact Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira media advisor, Gabrielle Para – or phone 027 967 0094.


About National Hauora Coalition

National Hauora Coalition is a charitable social enterprise and Aotearoa’s largest Māori-led PHO. The organisation’s kaupapa is mana whānau, whānau ora – prosperous families living well, and is a lead advocate for hauora Māori (Wai 2687) through the Waitangi Tribunal Health Services Kaupapa Inquiry (Wai 2575). In its day-to-day activities, NHC partners with a wide range of agencies, iwi, and industry groups to commission and deliver indigenously designed health and social services to improve health outcomes for whānau Māori, achieve health equity and greater social cohesion for the benefit of Aotearoa.

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