Māori health authority steering group members named

3:34 pm on 28 May 2021

The interim Māori health authority has moved another step forward with iwi leaders and Māori health experts appointed to the steering group tasked with choosing who will govern the authority.

Sir Mason Durie

Sir Mason Durie Photo: RNZ / Leigh Marama McLachlan

Six members have been chosen to sit on the steering group by chair Tā Mason Durie, based on their mana and knowledge of Māori health and iwi leadership.

Their task is to identify candidates to govern the interim Māori health authority, which was announced by the government in April.

Members include University of Auckland associate professor and Papakura marae GP Dr Matire Harwood; South Island Whānau Ora commissioning agency chair Tā Mark Solomon; and Waikato reo and tikanga expert Rahui Papa.

Tairāwhiti District Health board chair Kim Ngāriumu, Rongowhakaata Trust chair Amohaere Houkamau and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chair Lisa Tumahai have also been appointed.

The steering group must identify candidates to govern the interim Māori health authority by July, with the shortlist of names then going to Cabinet, who will confirm appointments in September.

Minister of Health Andrew Little said he was confident the steering group would "identify a high-performing group of candidates" to govern the interim Māori health authority.

"This approach is a marker of the future health system I am seeking - that we move forward in a true partnership approach with Māori," he said.

Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare said he had "no doubt" the collective experience of the group would determine "the ideal mix of rangatira Māori" to enable Māori to have control over their hauora, and exercise rangatiratanga in the wider health system.

The new authority has received $98m in funding to get set up, and a further $127m for Māori healthcare initiatives.

The interim authority will be set up by the end of the year as a departmental agency with the Ministry of Health, with the independent authority expected to be up and running in the following year.

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