Peeni Henare open to Whānau Ora model for Māori Health Authority

By Te Ao - Māori News

Peeni Henare says it will take time to implement the recommendations of the ‘Simpson Report’. The report recommends a Māori Health Authority be formed to facilitate better health outcomes.

“I’ve had mixed reviews from Māori. Some saying ‘this is awesome,’ what’s been recommended,” Peeni Henare says.

Henare says some people have asked him to structure this authority like the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency.

That would mean health providers could submit proposals for funding to provide services. Health providers would answer to the authority as to the discharge of those funded proposals.

Henare Associate Minister for Health. He says he is open to what that authority will look like, and how it will be funded.

“All of those options, as far as I’m concerned, are able to be considered.”

By no means, Henare says, would this authority reduce the number of Māori health providers.

“In fact, in my opinion, we need more.

“There were about 17-19 Māori oral health providers. There are now only four or five in this country.”

He said that there is a big job ahead to increase Māori access to health services. The associate health minister says he is prepared to achieve that.