Tamihere: Māori Health Authority will help all Kiwis

Source: Q and A

The new president of Te Pāti Māori John Tamihere says the establishment of the Māori Health Authority will improve things for all New Zealanders.

Tamihere, who as the head of Te Whānau o Waipareira has been at the forefront of efforts to improve Covid vaccine rates, says the Labour Government deserves some credit.

He told Q+A with Jack Tame that there is still work to do, and systemic barriers to overcome.

“This Government has done a good job, and you shouldn’t be churlish, all governments do some good things. But the problem is, if I could give you one example, when you vote $11.1 billion into the health system and then $540 million of that is tagged for Māori you’re actually building in the inequaltiy that we already had in the previous system.”

Tamihere argues that people need to stop being afraid of Māori run efforts, such as Waipareira’s vaccination drive, which consistently delivered for Pākehā in West Auckland as well.

“If Pākehā people are allowed to deliver services to Pākehā people, there’s this apprehension that if Māori are delivering to Māori there’s something wrong with that, and that’s just not right."

He believes the arrival of the Māori Health Authority, something Te Pāti Māori has long argued for will deliver for all.

“You’ll see the innovation and initiative there change the dial in mainstream for the good.”