28 Feb 2014

MP fears for Maori health services

7:26 am on 28 February 2014

The Labour Party fears more health providers will shut down due to a shake-up of Maori services at the top of the South Island.

One's already closed, as the regional health board moves to introduce a single body to oversee whanau care.

Six out of seven of the current Maori health providers will come under a collective, called Te Piki Oranga.

Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene believes the operators are too frightened to speak out about the changes.

He says they're small providers with small budgets, and they won't go public because they would risk losing their funding.

The Nelson Marlborough DHB says it's committed to improving the level of service throughout the region, and all existing money for Maori health will be used by the new collective Te Piki Oranga.