There’s a long way to go to achieve health equity for Māori, but we know the pathways we need to travel down – that was a key message delivered to more than 180 people heard at the latest Grand Round health research webinar. 

Held during the lunch hour on Monday 4 March, the second Grand Round event featured presentations from keynote speaker Dr Mataroria Lyndon, and Dr Karen Brewer, Dr Sandra Hanchard and Rochelle Ellison-Lupena presenting about their work to drive equity action for Māori and Pacific communities in Aotearoa.  

The recording of the session is now available for anyone to view, here.  

Te Aka Whai Ora Chief Medical Officer Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen hosted the session, saying: “Kaupapa Māori approaches are really important for understanding the experiences of whānau facing the impacts of inequities and for creating solutions.” 

Keynote speaker Dr Mataroria Lyndon (Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Hine, Waikato) is Senior Lecturer in Medical Education at the University of Auckland and is currently on the Board of Te Aka Whai Ora.  

“We have a long way to go to address Māori health inequities,” says Mataroria. “We know that there is both a need for, and a right to, health equity from a social justice and fairness perspective. 

“We see these inequities in health outcomes like life expectancy, just as we see these inequities in the determinants of health such as housing, education, income and employment; and inequities in access to health treatment, quality of care and culturally-appropriate care.” 

Dr Lyndon suggested four pathways to health equity, of which Te Tiriti is the tūāpapa, or principal foundation:  

People, whānau and communities: Addressing the social determinants of health, such as housing, education, income and employment; the importance of working across sectors, health promotion and prevention and creating healthy environments. 

Health services: Accessible services of high quality, that are culturally appropriate and safe and that are kaupapa Māori. 

Health workforce: Increasing our kaimahi hauora Māori, (Māori health workforce), and also the importance of cultural safety and anti-racism among non-Māori kaimahi.  

Health system: The role of Government across sectors and health agencies at a policy level to tackle health inequities. This includes legislation to create healthy environments such as smokefree and sugar tax legislation. 

Dr Karen Brewer talked about the work of the Manawataki Fatu Fatu for ACCESS (Māori and Pacific hearts in unison for Achieving Cardiovascular Care in Equity StudieS) programme, which focusses on integration of Kaupapa Māori and Pacific qualitative and quantitative methodologies. 

Dr Sandra Hanchard’s presentation discussed the need for better hospital discharge planning for people with heart failure to address significant disparities in heart failure outcomes for Māori and Pacific.  

PhD candidate Rochelle Ellison-Lupena discussed access to acute out-of-hospital cardiac care for whānau Māori. 

This event was the second in the Grand Round series, with another being planned for April. To view the webinar Pathways to health equity and cultural safety please visit this page.