The interim Māori Health Authority has announced an inaugural funding package of $22 million to embed Te Ao Māori perspectives and initiatives throughout the health system.

The initial investment will enable different ways of working and give whānau healthcare options that haven’t previously been supported to deliver widely across the system. It will support the development of the kaupapa Māori workforce, rongoā services, mātauranga Māori models of care and kaupapa Māori approaches to keeping people well.

Co-Chair of the interim Māori Health Authority, Tipa Mahuta, said the Authority hadn’t wasted any time in getting on with mahi to improve the health of whānau.

“Our commitment of this budget comes just three months after the Authority was stood up as an interim entity. While our longer-term budget is still being finalised, this funding package is proof of our dedication to getting things done and lifting the health of Māori who have suffered for far too long,” Tipa said.

The Māori Health Authority is here to make a difference for all New Zealanders. We are ready and willing to work alongside the Ministry of Health and Health New Zealand in making the transformational changes our people have been crying out for.

A key priority is on driving growth within our Māori workforce by both supporting our existing staff, and ensuring Māori have a clear pathway into health mahi.

Co-Chair Sharon Shea said the Authority had an important role to play in reforming the health system so it supported better health outcomes for all New Zealanders.

In the future, whānau will experience healthcare that looks like, feels like and reflects Te Ao Māori. That means more Maori providers being funded to deliver health services that support holistic health, including spiritual health, and services that are firmly rooted in Māori knowledge." 

Our focus now is to work in tandem with Health New Zealand, as a demonstration of our mutual commitment to Te Tiriti, to addressing this longstanding inequity.

Sharon Shea

“Both Māori and non-Māori already access services delivered by Māori providers, so the opportunity to expand this reach to offer more Te Ao Māori solutions means all New Zealanders benefit.”

“Our role in working with Health New Zealand to collaboratively strengthen health in Aotearoa, as well as delivery our own work programme to lift Te Ao Māori options, is something we take very seriously. Today’s announcement is an important milestone and marks the start of our mahi to influence better outcomes for Māori and whānau.”

The Māori Health Authority will work with Māori providers to agree and deliver the budget activities over the coming months, ahead of 30 June. Specific areas to be funded include:

  • $3 million for mātauranga Maori initiatives and services
  • $6 million to support Maori providers within innovation and sustainability
  • $5 million to support kaupapa Māori approaches to population health
  • $2 million to expand existing rongoā services
  • $2 million to support further development of the Maori workforce

A further $3.2 million has been allocated by the Māori Health Authority and the Māori Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health to supporting the establishment of Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards this year.