The Auckland hapū taking control of whānau health

Auckland hapū Ngāti Whatua Orākei is turning to private health insurance to remove the barriers its people face in the public health system.

It comes as the Waitangi Tribunal examines why the public health system is failing Māori.

A year ago Ngāti Whātua Orākei partnered with providers Nib to offer health insurance for all its people. Anahera Rawiri is helping to lead the rollout of the scheme through Whai Rawa - the financial arm of the hapū.

"We tried to take control of our destiny - what I would say is that we're here.

"We've gone on this journey now for 12 months, so this is a significant investment."

It's an investment the hapū is making to remove the barriers around health care for its whānau.

"It's fairly well-researched that Māori experience poor health outcomes bias and discrimination in the health system," Rawiri said, "as well as more practical barriers that exist at a real whānau level which is cost, option, access."

Lady Tureiti Moxon is the managing director of the Māori health provider Te Kōhao Health in Hamilton. She applauds the stance Ngāti Whātua Orākei is taking.

"Really speaking though, the Government should be looking after our people. I don't know whether I want us to be like America where everybody has to have insurance because there are always going to be people who are going to miss out on that."

In recent months, the Waitangi Tribunal's health services and outcomes inquiry examined how Māori are failed by the health system. Lady Tureiti Moxon said the tribunal's report needed to be bold.


"I believe the system is broken,I believe it's not for Māori to go and fix it - I believe that that we need to grow and develop ourselves."

The Waitangi Tribunal's final report into the inquiry is due in July.

The Hui