Shane Reti stands by Judith Collins labelling proposed Māori Health Authority ‘racist, separatist’

Source: 1News

Dr Shane Reti, National’s Deputy Leader and one of only two Māori in the party’s caucus, says he agrees with Judith Collins’ critique of the proposed Māori Health Authority as “racist” and “separatist”.

He told Q+A that despite fiery scenes in Parliament this week, Collins was doing her job.

“I would suggest it's just appropriate critique and clarification that we’re seeking as an Opposition to better understand the motives and intentions of this government. So I do stand behind what Judith said.”

“By definition its a separate entity. It’s a separate statutory entity. So by definition its separatist,” Reti said of the Māori Health Authority.

“I have grave concerns it won’t advantage Māori for the outcomes that they’re looking for.”

“What makes it racist is that there is a form of differential treatment, if you like, for a group that we would suggest could be better done in one health system.”

Reti, who has been a GP in the north for decades, says “I accept that the one health system that we’ve had hasn’t been perfect, I absolutely agree with that.”

But he says the government’s plans for a separate Māori Health Authority, with veto powers over Health NZ is “a step too far.”

He argues any revamp of the health system should be guided by need. “Whoever has the greatest need gets the resources. Oh and by the way, it just turns out that on any metric you name Māori have the highest need, so that distribution then follows that.”

He says he supports Māori health initiatives as long as they, like Whānau Ora, rangatahi courts and charter schools, are targeted approaches sitting under a single system, be it health, justice or education.

"By Māori, for Māori, with Māori ... within one system."