Video transcript

Fepulea’i Margie Apa – Chief Executive , Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand

Tēnā koutou katoa. Today, 1 July is an historic day for our health system. Today is the beginning of a unified health service, bringing our 20 district health boards, our shared services and large parts of the Ministry of Health into one organisation.

We are Te Whatu Ora — Health New Zealand. Te Whatu Ora is our new name. It means the weaving of wellness. This is our once in a generation opportunity to unify the way the health service works across boundaries, across organisations, across professions, to work together to provide a simpler, more accessible health system for all New Zealanders, no matter where they live or who they are.

It's not going to change things for you immediately, but when you need care, you should still go to the same doctor, the same hospital, and use the same community health providers as you normally would.

We can commit to you that over time you will start to see important changes in the health system Changes that bring New Zealanders the health and wellbeing and the equity of access they need and deserve.

On behalf of Te Whatu Ora — Health New Zealand, I look forward to serving you our communities and public. And now I welcome our Minister of Health, the Honourable Andrew Little to say a few words.

Hon Andrew Little – Minister of Health 

Kia ora koutou. Today marks a significant milestone in our commitment to deliver better health and well-being for all New Zealanders. Today is Day 1 of our new health system. This is a game changer.

A once in a generation reform. Ki te kei o te waka ko Te Whatu Ora — Health New Zealand me Te Aka Whai Ora — The Māori Health Authority. Supported by the Ministry of Health, including the Public Health Agency, rhey'll lead the change to right the wrongs of health inequities experienced by far too many for far too long.

He whare kotahi tēnei and this one true health system will recognise the partnership between Māori and the Crown in line with its Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. It will give local communities a voice to develop tailored plans for improving services in their local areas.

Te Aka Whai Ora will work with Health NZ to plan and commission services. A first for health care in New Zealand. New Zealanders value the amazing work our medical professionals do in this country.

They kept us safe during the Covid-19 response, but we know we can make a better health system for patients and healthcare workers. That's why we've changed it. Because when we put people at the heart of healthcare, it's more likely everyone, including Māori, will reach out when they need to.

This could save more lives. We've heard how much the health sector and New Zealanders have been calling out for this change. We've done the groundwork and we've passed the legislation.

Riana Manuel – Tumu Whakarae, Te Aka Whai Ora

Tūria, tūria te mata hau nō Rangi. 

Tūria, tūria te mata hau nō Papa. 

Paiheretia te tangata ki te kawa tupua, ki te kawa tawhito. 

He kawa ora! 

He kawa ora! 

He kawa ora ki te tangata. 

He kawa ora ki te whānau. 

He kawa ora ki te iti, ki te rahi. 

He kawa tātaki kia mau ai. 

Tūturu o whiti, whakamaua kia tina 

Hui e! 

Tāiki e! 

Nau mai rā ki Te Aka Whai Ora. Manuwatia ma ta Matariki. Matariki has risen, and today we are taking our first steps as Te Aka Whai Ora in the journey to creating a strong public health system that works for Māori and for everyone.

He hua Māori, he hua Aotearoa. Thank you to everyone who has helped prepare the ground for this historic day, over the decades and more recently. A special mention to both our boards of Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora.

Also to the Hauora Māori committee. And I just want to put a special shout out to my co-CE Margie Apa, who will be moving forward on this journey with us.

We move forward on strong foundations and with a clear mandate to lead change in the way the whole system understands and responds to the health and wellbeing needs of our people.

We also move forward and partnership with Te Whatu Ora. Through that partnership and our partnership with Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards, Māori health providers, our professionals and iwi, hapū and Māori communities, the understanding of Māori health needs and aspirations will be brought forward in a way that hasn't happened previously.

And that will mean our people's needs and aspirations will be better reflected in the priorities and the plans of our health system. And of course the design and delivery of those services.

E te tini, e te mano, ka tukuna tēnei mihi ki a koutou. Nau mai, haere mai. 

I look forward to working for you as we continue on this journey.

Mauri ora. 

Healthcare delivery in Aotearoa New Zealand is transforming. For the better. At the heart of our new health system is Te Aka Whai Ora.

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!

Our focus will be to create a new health system focused on people – on patients, on communities, and our kaimahi /healthcare workers.

Our role is to lead and monitor transformational change in the way the entire health system understands and responds to the health and wellbeing needs of whānau Māori.

We know major change is needed. We’ve seen this through the Health and Disability System Review, the Waitangi Tribunal’s Wai 2575 Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry, the Government's Inquiry into mental health and addiction, and public submissions to the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill.

Everyone who calls Aotearoa New Zealand home deserves a strong public health system that works for us all. Everyone should receive the right type of healthcare when, how and where we need it – but this isn’t happening, especially for whānau Māori.

The reforms will create a fairer, more coordinated and connected system to deliver better health and wellbeing for all.

Māori are crucial to this kaupapa. whānau deserve to live longer and healthier lives, and for too long they have suffered poor health outcomes that are unfair, unjust – and largely avoidable.

Transforming an entire health system takes time.

Our mahi starts by getting our structure right and building a solid platform to launch from, to create long-term success. Te Aka Whai Ora | Māori Health Authority is an independent Public Health agency responsible to enhance tino rangatiratanga and strengthen mana motuhake for hauora Māori and ensure greater influence throughout the entire health system to support whānau to take control of their own health and wellbeing.

This is central to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and ensuring everyone in Aotearoa has the same access to good health outcomes.