ACC taking Treaty seriously, opening up to rongoā Māori and technology

By Te Ao - Māori News

Traditional Māori massage is among the rongoā Māori now accepted by ACC for rehabilitation.

The Accident Compensation Corporation has been building up its services to Māori including accepting traditional Māori therapies for rehabilitation.

This means, for example, compensation for rehabilitation such as physiotherapy can also include traditional Māori massage.

The move is an ACC drive to improve Māori health and engage with Māori providers, ACC spokesperson Turei Hamiora Ormsby says.

Ormsby, ACC’s strategic relationships lead, health partnerships, says rongoā Māori hasn't been recognised in the health sector in the past so this recognition offers a stable pathway, “an opportunity for our future generation to venture into.”

He says since June last year 1000 rongoā Māori claims had been presented to ACC.

Now ACC has also launched Tele-Health, which Ormsby says is a consultation service delivered to people by phone or video conference.

“This way our people can stay safe at home but still connect to our practitioners. Going to the doctors is a big issue for our Māori people. However, this is a way our Māori people can still connect to us and our practitioners.”

It's a new direction for ACC, he says, “but is also our commitment to the Treaty of Waitangi. It’s our way of attracting Māori to our service under the Treaty of Waitangi to help our people. That's our goal, to strengthen our people by upholding our commitment to the Treaty.”

Ormsby says ACC aims to see continuing health improvements for clients, to better strengthen their wellbeing, and work out together a fitting recovery path to get them back to full health.

“That's what we are striving for.”