“The point we’re making to this tribunal is our people have a right to self-determination and self-management. The difference between a Māori kaimahi working in one of our provider groups is they’re born out of that community, they’re embedded… and above all, they’ll work with passion. You will not get that in a DHB you will not get that in another government department.”
Our CEO, John Tamihere, presented his case at a major Waitangi Tribunal hearing at Tūrangawaewae Marae on Tuesday, on the grounds that the Crown’s failure to address Māori health inequity is a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi. Standing with Whānau Ora, the nationwide movement arising out of Māori cultural values, as the perfect example of a successful model that is driven by Māori for Māori.
At the core of this issue is a feeling of being misunderstood and unsafe. The claim is about giving our communities the resources to support whānau in their aspirations and growing healthy strong communities for generations to come.
Recent research has found “systemic failures” within the health system when providing care to Māori and Pacific patients, including instances of racism and a lack of “cultural safety”. Institutionalised racism, or “unconscious bias” as it is politely called on the radio, has reached its most affecting heights when it was reported last week that our Māori pepī are less likely to be resuscitated at birth than pepī of pākehā descent.
Health statistics for Māori show that we die seven years earlier than non-Māori. On average, Māori men die at 73 years old, non-Māori at 80; Māori women die at 77, non-Māori at 84. With just 2 percent of health funding going to Māori providers–our public health system is failing us.
“Unless we get greater acknowledgement and greater investment in Māori self-management programmes, then there’s going to be a feeding frenzy on the failure of Māoridom.
“It’s economics 101 – if you reward people to manage our failure, they’ll up it. But if you invest in people that want to cure it and sort it, it will go down. Whānau Ora has demonstrated on the peanuts it gets that we can do better than anyone else on any measure.”
Catalysts of Health is a Wai Research project looking at five generations of Waipareira whānau and what contributed to intergenerational change relating to health and resilience.
Discussing this project, Wai Research pou, Sir Mason Durie said, “For so long Māori were the victims of the research rather than the beneficiaries of the research, because the research simply spelled out a problem and made the community own the problem, which didn’t actually help the problem.”
Below is an excerpt from Catalysts of Health, a kōrero from the Taumaunu Whānau, Evelyn Taumaunu, talking about her experience of health, and what health means for her whānau. This story is one of a multitude of expressions we have heard on raising a healthy Māori whānau today. You won’t find these kōrero in a mainstream department either.
Te Kaupapa Hauora – Our Health
Nā Evelyn Taumaunu
Featured in Kia Pū te Wai o Pareira “He Kōrero ā-Whānau”
Our whānau definition of health is the ‘total wellbeing’. From hinengaro, to ngākau, wairua, tinana – all of those encompasses health for me. Because if one part of my body isn’t functioning, there is no balance, as everything complements each other.
Mental health is very important – that’s basically the impact on how we think, how safe we think we are. Physical health is more straightforward – no mucking around there, you get the flu, go see the doctor. Don’t become the doctor yourself. But in some ways, wellbeing is simple – it’s a happy whānau. If my whānau is happy, I’m happy. If my whānau is well, I’m well. If my whānau is in sorrow, I’m in sorrow. So, the heart dictates a lot to well-being.
When we are family, irrespective of what happens, we’re one together – we try and do the best to ensure that our family moves on at all times. Not just be hitting the old backstops. That is the key to it all, because too many times we’ve left our whānau too late, and by the time we go down to get them, they don’t want to know you anymore. You weren’t there for them at the beginning.
During our lives here we’ve had to learn to know what love is – to love our children, love our whānau. We will move mountains if we can to help them and we’ll do it for any whānau that’s out there. We have done it, and we will continue to be like that, because that’s just who we are. We were born on this earth to be part of each other. And at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. Being together.
Our aspirations for our whānau is that they will be a shining light to someone within their community, that they can share a little bit of that light with any whānau that asks, and that our family will always remain strong. Hoping that we’ve lead them properly to become our future leaders. Strong to who they are and strong to their tikanga.
Read the full story, and publication by Wai Research here: https://www.waipareira.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/W2.Kia-P%C5%AB-Te-Wai-O-Pareira.pdf