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Waikato District Health Board and Waikato iwi sign MoU for Māori health

Today (27 September 2017) a special signing event was held at Waiora Waikato Hospital campus to mark a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Waikato District Health Board and Iwi Māori Council that will lead the way for radical change in the delivery of health and disability services in the Waikato for Māori.

“It is a historic moment for us as a DHB and also represents a symbol of strong relationships with our iwi as we move forward to improve the status of Māori health,” board chair Bob Simcock said.

“If we are to make change we need to listen to those affected and understand from them what would work to make that difference. We all have to change.”

Approximately one hundred witnesses were present to celebrate the signing including board members, iwi, and Waikato DHB staff.

“We are in times of radical changes that have never been experienced by Aotearoa,” Iwi Maori Council chair Harry Mikaere explained.

“We do want to make these changes and we do want to be involved in them.”

The signing of the MoU comes at a time where the DHB’s ‘number one priority’ in its Strategic Plan is radical improvement in Māori health outcomes by eliminating health inequities for Māori.

The MoU is based on the principles of:

Partnership – working together with iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities to radically improve Māori health outcomes and reduce Māori health inequities, and to develop appropriate health and disability services.

Participation that requires Māori to be involved at all levels of the health and disability sector, including in decision-making and planning and development roles and the delivery of health and disability services.

Protection which requires the Government to safeguard Māori cultural concepts, values and practices, and to ensure that Māori have at least the same level of health as non-Māori.

Iwi involved with the signing for Waikato were Ngāti Maniapoto, Hauraki, Waikato-Tainui, Raukawa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Whanganui, Te Rūnanga O Kirikiriroa (Urban Māori Authority) and Kaunihera Kaumātua.

Waikato DHB and Iwi have had a relationship for many years dating back to the Area Health Board / Crown Health Enterprise days.

The revised MoU is one way of recognising the relationship and raises the gaze from operational to strategic. The Health and Disability Act 2000 provides mechanisms to enable Māori to contribute to decision making on and to participate in the delivery of health and disability services. The MoU also uses the Te Tiriti o Waitangi as a guide where the relationship is founded on the principles of Partnership, Participation and Protection.

Photograph above: Board and Iwi Māori Council representation – L-R Glen Tupuhi – Hauraki Trust representative, Te Pora Thompson-Evans – Tainui/Waikato Trust representative, Gaylene Roberts-Chair Kaumaatua Kaunihera, Raukawa Trust representative, Harry Mikaere – Chair IMC, Hauraki Trust representative, Bob Simcock – Chair Board, Dr Kahu McClintock-Manager Research Te Rau Matatini, Tainui/Waikato Trust representative, Tureiti Moxon – Managing Director Te Kōhao Health, Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa representative, Tiwha Bell, Chair Maniapoto Trust, Tio Sewell- Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa representative, Janise Eketone- Chair Maniapoto Trust

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