By: Ra Hippolite, Kaipakihi Kaiwhakahaere (Business Support Manager)
Ngā mihi koutou.
What a priviledge it was to attend Toitū Te Whenua 2018. Ngā mihi ki te mana whenua Kai Tahu raua ki Te Rau Matatini.
After mihi whakatau and kai the opening address was made by Tā Mason Durie. He talked about he Māori advancement since 1918. Leading with images of Tipuna who championed the Te Whare Tapa Whā model of hauora. He summarised by showing what research has shown whānau want in Hauora.
To be treated with respect & kindness (remember our mana and dignity)
Speak the same tongue (body language matches korero)
Whānau & family included in assessment, planning, care process
Community solutions e.g. IronMāori
No Stigma or shame (stop using labels that stigmatise like ‘manic depressed’)
Healing and treatment (how can two different approaches come together like clinical and rongoa
Information exchange (my health records belong to me)
Joined up Treatment and Care (division between Primary and Secondary care or hospitals and General Practice)
Kawa and engagement (health and social services should be no different who you engage with)
Getting well and keeping well. Adopt a recovery process to wellness. Not about fixing crisis but getting on pathway to wellness.
After kai the next speaker was Dr Darryn Russell. His topic was “The distribution of power and privilege - Competent or Casualty”.
He asked has there been a change in health equity and health disparities since the HPCA Act was introduced in 2003. This act is about protecting the health and safety of the public.
He then proceeded to display a lot of data showing that this has not happened. Data that showed that Māori are 8 times more likely to get cancer and 20 times more likely to die from cancer.
Data that showed Māori are not getting allocation of medicines but are over subscribed to steroids and non- steroids.
Data that showed Māori mortality rate is worse than 2003.
There were many other great speakers that told their life story and how they have survived atrocities as rangatahi to become the rangatira they now are. There was also a leader born into rangatiratanga who questioned what her iwi has done for hauora since their settlement. I also noticed a common theme from the audience questions. When will my health professional be able to pronouce my child’s Māori name?
These are the challenges that Te Piki Oranga must now address with their partners the DHB, PHOs and Ministry. It is why we have representatives on the Iwi Health Board, TOSHA (Top of the South Health Alliance) and Te Tumu Whakaora (NBPHO Māori reference group).
We will strive to advocate for whānau for equity in health and we must do it better over the next 100 years.