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Better health for Māori in Bay of Plenty

Submitted by on September 22, 2013 – 3:47 pm


Credit: PhillipC c/ Fickr Creative Commons

Credit: PhillipC c/ Fickr Creative Commons

Press Release: Bay of Plenty District Health Board

Better health for Māori

The Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) has won the 2013 Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ) Award for Crown-Māori Relationships.

The award recognises the extent to which the BOPDHB has built a unique and innovative approach to addressing the challenges of the region.

BOPDHB has 18 iwi in its region – the highest number of iwi in the country. BOPDHB identified that establishing a unique structure was the best way to build the capacity and capability of the Māori Provider sector, to contribute to the reduction of health inequalities for Māori. As a result the region is seeing positive health outcomes for Māori and a closing of the disparity gap for a number of health targets.

A contributing factor to their success is the BOPDHB’s Māori Health Planning and Funding unit – the only one of its kind in New Zealand. General Manager Māori Health Planning and Funding Janet McLean has direct accountability and responsibility for all maori health funding and contracts with the support of a dedicated team. Janet says Toi Ora – optimum health and wellbeing – has been a strategic priority for BOPDHB since the inception of DHBs in 2001.

“Given the high Māori population, diverse iwi, whanau and hapu structures, we needed an approach which enabled active and meaningful engagement at different levels between the DHB and Māori,” she says. “What we have established enables Maori to contribute to decision making and participate in the delivery of their health and disability services.

The Public Sector Excellence Award recognises the complex and diverse range of relationships between Maori and government. Janet says leadership and true partnership were instrumental in the BOPDHB’s success.

“This award acknowledges BOPDHBs leadership and innovation on a number of fronts including the partnership established between the BOPDHB and the Māori Health Runanga,” she says. “The BOPDHB’s investment in Māori Health also plays a bit part – we are the highest investor of all DHBs in the country in Māori Health NGO providers.”

DHBs across the Midland region have adopted the unique Māori tools and frameworks developed by the Bay of Plenty DHB such as He Ritenga, the Cultural audit tool, an exemplar Māori Health Plan and a Māori Health Plan performance framework to monitor how effectively DHBs are reducing inequalities for Māori.

“This performance framework has been endorsed by the national CEO’s group and adopted as a standardised framework for all DHBs,” says Janet.

Janet says it is important to acknowledge the leadership of the Māori Health Runanga.

“They (the Runanga) are vigilant in ensuring that the importance of health’s role and its contribution to strengthening whanau, hapu and iwi capacity for self-management and self-determination are central to the Māori Health Strategy.”

IPANZ President John Larkindale said there is much to celebrate as shown in the high-calibre projects winning across the eight categories of the awards.

“To encourage excellence in the public sector, it is vital we celebrate success,” he said

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