Just a handful of long-term conditions - diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and stroke - not only form the largest causes of death and disability for Māori, but often coexist in the same people, are often experienced by several generations in the same whānau, and share common preventable risk factors. 

Te Aka Whai Ora is investing $8.1m over two years in 20 Primary Health Organisations (PHOs) and 78 hauora Māori partners to implement te ao Māori solutions supporting whānau to prevent, detect, and manage their long-term conditions.  

Funding for solutions focused on prevention include screening for early diagnosis and encouraging whānau to eat well, manage food consumption, reduce smoking, and exercise more. 

Improving wellbeing solutions include support to manage long-term conditions, take medications regularly, have regular clinical reviews and ensuring warm, insulated homes with heating. 

Te Aka Whai Ora Maiaka Tau Piringa, Deputy Chief Executive, Service Development Jade Sewell says there are few prevention and self-management solutions that embed Māori knowledge and practices.  

“Chronic health conditions are responsible for most ill-health in Aotearoa, so concentrating on approaches that improve outcomes is going to be key to making meaningful change. 

“These long-term conditions are highly preventable. Our goal is to empower all people to manage their own health and wellbeing and have control over the services they receive. These efforts will help to prevent the conditions occurring and to reduce the progression of complications for those living with these conditions. 

“Through this funding, we will increase the footprint of solutions that work for Māori within the health system. Each PHO and hauora Māori partner will develop their own plan for how the funding will be used in their community to respond to their specific needs.  

“To achieve health equity, Māori voices need to be heard, and embedded in plans and solutions. Initiatives and services will, where possible, embed mātauranga me ngā tikanga Māori that is relevant to the local area, and contribute to improved hauora outcomes for all whānau,” says Jade.