The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill passed its second reading this week. The hybrid Māori Affairs/Health Select Committee examining the legislation has recommended several amendments, which have been accepted. These changes include provision to further strengthen the Treaty of Waitangi partnership ideology in the legislation.
As well as the creation of a Māori Health Authority to work in partnership with Health NZ, a network of iwi-Māori partnership boards will be given the power to contribute to local planning and priority setting, as well as monitoring the health system against the agreed upon plans.
Mr Little, in his Cabinet paper proposing the reforms a year ago, spelt out who would he believed would hold the treaty partner role:
“…at the local level I see a critical role for empowered iwi-Māori partnership boards to reflect the voice of Māori and act as a Tiriti partner to Health NZ and the Māori Health Authority,” the paper said.
The newly established health system principles say the health system should “provide opportunities for Māori to exercise decision-making authority on matters of importance to Māori” but there is no provision for the same decision-making authority on matters of importance to anyone else.
We are reminded that the Minister of Health said at the bill’s introduction that "This bill is about meeting Treaty obligations."
Click HERE to read the proposed amendments to the Bill
The Democracy Action submission on the Bill is available HERE
Future of Health: Update from the Transition Unit - 21 January 2022
NZ Herald: Explainer: Major health sector reforms near - what you need to know about changes 2 May 2022