8 Mar 2019

NZ health policy groups called out on racist attitudes

7:43 am on 8 March 2019

Research has revealed many of New Zealand's Māori and Pacific health experts are experiencing racist attitudes from government health advisory groups.

Hospital hallway, doctor, nurse, file pic, generic

Photo: 123RF

The experts claim their knowledge and interests are often devalued, and that they experience tokenistic engagement and racism.

Some said it took considerable effort to establish credibility, be heard and make an impact, while their input was still marginalised.

Dr Heather Came is a senior lecturer at Auckland University of Technology and has recently published her study in the New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences.

She said the government needs to do better to improve health policy development and delivery.

"So I think it needs to be the responsibility of crown officials, the government officials to lift the game.

"They need to develop their cultural and political competencies so that if they're inviting Maori and Pasific leaders in, and taking them away from other work that they could be doing help develop the policy, that they're looked after and they're listened to.

"It's bad manners to invite people into a process and then not listen to them.