Media release

Independent MP, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere Reinforces Call That Ethnicity Equals Need For Māori Health

“Māori health has not substantially improved since 2000. We continue to experience the worst health outcomes of any population group in Aotearoa, according to the Waitangi Tribunal report, Hauora: Report on Stage One of the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry” says Dr Elizabeth Kerekere.

“Decades of health research shows persistent inequities for Māori and Pasifika in accessing healthcare, diagnosis, referral and treatments – including delays on the waiting list. That is why ethnicity equals need.”

“Equity-based tools – such as those used for waiting lists – do not put people ahead of others. They seek to level the playing field, ensuring those who have historically been marginalised receive the support that lifts them to the same level as everyone else.”

“Pretending disparities do not exist or should not be named, will not make them go away. If equity-based approaches are not used widely in the health sector, inequities will continue, and Māori will continue to die younger. It’s that simple.”

“The righting of historical wrongs will likely feel like a loss of power for those who have enjoyed the systemic privilege of colonisation. Refusing to consider or even talk about how ethnicity is a factor in health, undermines the urgent rights of Māori and Pasifika people to the healthcare they need.

“I suggest people stop race-baiting when they are talking about Māori lives. We must work together for a country where we all enjoy great health regardless of our ethnicity, our location or our gender, sexuality or sex characteristics.”