New Zealand's Health Ministry says the government is making equity a deliberate focus as one of its priority programmes in health.
Responding to questions after the Medical Journal revelations of shortened life spans for Māori and Pacific people in New Zealand, the ministry said the government had tasked it with taking a bold approach to deliver measureable results over the next three to five years.
The Deputy Director General for Māori Health John Whaanga said, despite some improvements, persistent disparities in health access, quality of services and outcomes remain.
He said the impact of personal and institutional racism was unacceptable and it was the core business of the New Zealand health and disability system to respond effectively.
The recent research showed Māori lived seven years less and Pasifika people six years less than New Zealanders of other ethnicities.