Te Pae Tata plan outlines what is needed to improve hauora for whānau

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

An interim health plan, Te Pae Tata, has been released outlining what Te Aka Whai Ora and the Māori Heath Authority will do over the next two years as part of its five-year plan.

The authority will work alongside Health New Zealand to build the foundations of a more sustainable and affordable healthcare system. A key priority will be better health and wellbeing for Māori.

Māori Health Authority chief executive Riana Manuel says there will be five key areas of focus: māuiuitanga taumaha: people living with chronic health conditions, mate pukupuku: those living with cancer, oranga hinengaro: those with mental distress, illness and addictions, kahu taurima: maternity and the early years, and pae ora: better health and wellbeing in communities.

With such an enormity across all areas, Manuel says strategies will be used to achieve better healthcare.

“There has never before been an opportunity for a Māori-based health system. Now, we have two initiatives; Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora, which are run with the same aspirations, to improve better health and wellbeing for everyone in New Zealand.

“This is not Māori specific. Our goal is to provide and improve better healthcare for all New Zealanders.”

The next phase in providing better health outcomes for Aotearoa begins. 

Some goals for the key focus areas include maternity and early years services based on te ao Māori and Pacific fanau readily available, the enhancement of mental health and addiction services for young people, rainbow communities, Māori and Pasifika, and having health services and providers work alongside whānau to improve wellbeing and reduce the need to stay in hospital.

“Māori have always been hospitable to everyone since the signing of the Te Tiriti of Waitangi. The purpose of Te Aka Whai Ora is to provide a Māori healthcare system for New Zealand.”

Manuel says it is part of the long-term goal to better the health and wellbeing of whānau.

“Te Whatu Ora's role is to network with iwi partnership boards and to support our health workers. When I attended nursing college, there were about 5% Māori students, now, there is only 7%, which isn't a big jump.

"That's something we need to develop, it's not only nurses, but healthcare assistants, doctors, and even across to Allied health workers.”