Ministry of Health to Partner with Māori to Fight Addiction

By D'Angelo Martin

Tīkanga Māori could be the key in the fight against addiction. 

The Ministry of Health held its first first hui-ā-motu (regional consultation) in Whangārei today, to hear from local Māori.

A key concept discussed at today's hui, was the use of marae as mental health services hubs.

Tui Tauroa (Ngapuhi) has been in the mental health system for forty years.  She said, "We want to look at Marae, what it is to be Māori what it is to be a Māori wahine those are things that I think are really important for us".

Te Rauora is a Maori Health Organisation dedicated to removing the barriers Māori face in accessing mental health services.  It advocates for kaupapa Māori based health approaches, made by Māori, for Māori, to achieve positive outcomes.

Maria Baker, C.E.O of Te Rauora stated, "It needs to be run by Māori be in any style that they want, it would be great to see Māori with lived experience of Mental Health and addiction challenges and other emotional and social issues actually driving different solutions in their community".

This sentiment is shared throughout the entire Rauora organisation.

Witi Ashby, one of Te Rauoras’ kaumātua said, "It should be done, by us for us and we are the support system we share whakaaro and ideas to each other. Here is a solution that will help whānau".

In a press statement, the Minstry of Health expressed that it wanted “as many Māori providers to contribute to this process”, with an open invitation to attend the next four hui to be held in South Auckland, Rotorua, Palmeston North and Christchurch.