Waikato elder calls for Māori autonomy in health

By Tema Hemi

The Waitangi Tribunal has heard the first of 207 claims concerning inequalities and institutional racism in the health system. The Wai 2575 Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry being held at Turangawaewae aims to reform the system so that Māori are treated fairly and get fair opportunity to treat others.  

Claimants are here to tell the Government that it's health system is sick and it's time Māori were given the chance to change the statistics. They say the Govt's attempt to address the inequalities through the establishment of Whānau Ora in 2010, hasn't delivered. Waikato, Tainui elder Taitimu Maipi believes the problem is that the system is racist and needs immediate reform. John Tamihere will present his summary on Wai 2687 before the tribunal tomorrow. 

Source: Manatu Hauora Website 

Taitimu Maipi had this to say today, "Its about getting our mana back to deliver our services for our people in our time, this is our time. The mana is what I'm after the money will come. I agree with John Tamihere, the organisation of Whānau Ora are doing their best but the funding mechanism to us is just the same as everyone else, someone gets a bigger piece of the pie Māori get a smaller piece. Institutional racism within the crown is still well and alive, and its about time they really started to have a look at really how we can be true partners in delivering whatever kind of services we have. 

Claimants will be heard throughout the whole week at Turangawaewae Marae and stage one of the inquiry is expected to run through to December this year.