Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Point of Order: Buzz from the Beehive - 27-2-24

No, it isn’t a surprise – the government is disestablishing the Māori Health Authority (just as it pledged before the election)

The mainstream news media have been grimly auguring this news for the past few days under headings such as…
This afternoon the government’s official website affirmed it.

Health Minister Shane Reti announced legislation that will disestablish the Māori Health Authority will be introduced in Parliament today, “heralding the start of a new vision for Māori health”.

Māori Party MPs led the charge to torpedo the bill in Parliament this afternoon, essentially insisting it was wrong to pre-empt or prejudice the Waitangi Tribunal’s hearing of a challenge to the government’s right to disestablish the authority.

They failed.

The Pae Ora (Disestablishment of the Māori Health Authority) Amendment Bill takes a narrow focus on the changes needed to disestablish the Māori Health Authority, Reti said in his media statement.

By the end of March, all remaining roles and functions will transfer to Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora and the Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora under the Health Sector (Transfers) Act 1993.

The Authority will be officially disestablished by 30 June 2024.

Reti addressed the concern raised by several objectors to the government’s plan, that dismantling the Māori Health Authority will shorten the lives of Māori and/or expose Māori to health services that are inferior to those provided for the rest of the country.

“The narrow focus on disestablishment doesn’t mean an end to our focus on Māori health for those who need it. We know the solutions for Māori communities come from Māori communities – not a centralised Wellington hub.

“We are committed to finding more efficient ways to work together to deliver those solutions, as well as savings which can go back into better health outcomes.

“Merging the functions of the Māori Health Authority and transferring its roles into the public health system means the health system keeps the expertise it needs to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders including Māori.”

Reti said he acknowledged the many people who have been part of the Māori Health Authority.

“Your expertise is valuable, and I look forward to your ongoing input into New Zealand’s health system.”

Iwi Māori Partnership Boards (IMPBs) and the Hauora Māori Advisory Committee remain in place. Both were established under the Pae Ora Act 2023.

The Government will continue working with both groups to chart a new direction for Māori health, Reti said.

“Their voices may evolve but both can have a role.

“No matter how the health system is shaped, what’s important is how it functions.

“We need function over form, we need results over reports.”

The Government intends to shift decision-making closer to communities to allow the people who know their communities best to guide service design and commissioning, Reti said..

The minister’s statement noted that today’s policy announcement fulfils a commitment made as part of the National-ACT/National-NZ First coalition agreement.

Official documents relating to the Amendment Bill will be available on the Ministry of Health website after 4pm today.

Latest from the Beehive

27 FEBRUARY 2024

Recently allocated Ministry of Youth Development funding will support more than 6700 young people to receive targeted youth development support to remain in education or transition to further training or employment and improve their wellbeing, Youth Minister Matt Doocey says.

Legislation that will disestablish the Māori Health Authority will be introduced in Parliament today, heralding the start of a new vision for Māori health says Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti.

As the Prime Minister said in his State of the Nation speech a couple of weekends ago, New Zealand is in a fragile state.

26 FEBRUARY 2024

New Zealand has welcomed Australia to the Inclusive Trade Action Group (ITAG) and Australia and Brazil to the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement (GTAGA) Minister for Trade Todd McClay says.

The Government will conduct a Ministerial Inquiry to address problems with the school property system where the scope of property works planned was unrealistic and unaffordable.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

No comments: