The Government has announced a record funding boost for Māori primary and community healthcare providers as part of $71.6 million in commissioning investments by Te Aka Whai Ora – Māori Health Authority.
“In Budget 2022 the Government made a record investment in resetting our health system, including to establish Te Aka Whai Ora as an equal partner at the heart of the new system and the lead for commissioning Māori health services,” Health Minister, Andrew Little said.
“Te Aka Whai Ora’s new commissioning activity delivers on our Budget 2022 investment. It will fund new Māori workforce initiatives, increase the availability of te ao Māori services, and allow for innovation. It also puts into action key elements of the new nationwide health plan, Te Pae Tata released by Te Aka Whai Ora and Te Whatu Ora last month.”
He said the investment will help address historical underfunding and put providers on a sustainable footing.
The funding includes $13 million for contract increases with Māori primary and community providers and $11.7 million to support innovation and ensure diverse whānau voices inform the design and provision of healthcare, Associate Minister of Health, Peeni Henare said.
A third of the investment ($29.3 million) will commission te ao Māori services and increase access for Māori to existing services in Te Pae Tata priority areas:
- Kahu Taurima – Maternity and early years;
- Mate pukupuku – People with cancer;
- Māuiuitanga taumaha – People living with chronic health conditions;
- Oranga hinengaro – People living with mental distress.
“We’ve seen when we get services right for Māori, they benefit a wide range of New Zealanders,” Mr Henare said.
“I am particularly pleased to see a focus on prevention, with funding to support the first 2000 days of our pepi and tamariki (Kahu Taurima), as well as investment in Māori suicide prevention as part Oranga hinengaro commissioning.
“Māori workforce development and initiatives to grow the health workforce are also priorities within all these investment areas.
“Māori providers and health workers are central to the success of the new health system. They played a critical role in our response to COVID-19 and continue to deliver much needed services to whānau Māori across Aotearoa.
“Growing kaupapa Māori services, supporting Māori innovation and creativity, and giving Māori a strong voice in our health system are key to improving the disproportionate health outcomes that have long affected our whānau,” he said.
Te Aka Whai Ora’s other new commissioning investments include $17.6 million to expand mātauranga Māori services, te ao Māori solutions, and population health, and workforce developments.
Te Aka Whai Ora (then the interim Māori Health Authority) announced its inaugural commissioning investment of $22 million in May. More than 149 Māori providers have received funding to support innovation and sustainability, and funded Rongoā Māori services are now available throughout New Zealand through the establishment of four new Rongoā Māori providers and support for the existing 31 Rongoā Māori providers to expand their services.