Securing healthy futures for all Māori

  • Hon Peeni Henare

The Government has committed to improving Māori health and wellbeing over the next five years.

The Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health) today released Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025 which sets the pathway towards achieving healthy futures for all Māori.

“As kaitiaki of the system, the Ministry of Health has an important leadership role to play in creating an environment that enables Māori to live healthier, happier lives,” said Associate Minister of Health (Māori Health), Peeni Henare.

“We know the health and disability system is failing Māori and as a result, significant health and wellbeing inequities have been created. Whakamaua provides clear direction on how we can fix that. 

“Whakamaua sets out a suite of actions that will help us achieve better health outcomes for all Māori.

“Many of the actions listed within the plan will help counter the influence of implicit bias and systemic racism in the system. I’m pleased to say that some of these actions have already begun. For example, we have already adopted innovative technologies that streamline patient pathways whānau Māori, including initiatives created during the COVID-19 response, like e-pharmacy, virtual consults, and a more inclusive approach to telehealth. 

“We have also crafted Te Tiriti o Waitangi tools to help guide the health and disability system in the development of its plans, strategies and accountability documents,” Minister Henare said.

“We are committed to working with whānau, hapū, iwi and Māori communities to help realise Māori health aspirations and bring equity to the health and disability system. I want to see all New Zealanders living longer, healthier and more independent lives – Whakamaua will bring us closer to achieving that.

“The name ‘Whakamaua’ alludes to the famous whakataukī, “Ko te pae tawhiti, whāia kia tata. Ko te pae tata, whakamaua kia tīna – Seek out the distant horizons, while cherishing those achievements at hand.

“Its name conveys a sense of acting to take hold of pae tata, those goals within our reach, as well as working diligently to secure pae ora. I look forward to journeying ahead into a brighter and healthier future for all whānau Māori,” said Peeni Henare.


Editor’s Notes:

The action plan can be found here:

He Korowai Oranga: Māori Health Strategy was originally launched in 2002, providing a 10-year outlook with an overall aim of whānau ora (healthy families). Refreshed in 2014, the overall aim of He Korowai Oranga is pae ora: health futures for Māori.

Pae ora is a holistic concept that includes three interconnected elements: mauri ora (healthy individuals), whānau ora (healthy families) and wai ora (healthy environments). Pae ora provides a platform for Māori to live with good health and wellbeing in an environment that supports Māori to flourish and thrive as Māori.

Whakamaua: Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025 is the implementation plan for He Korowai Oranga. It sets the government’s direction for Māori health advancement over the next five years. The Ministry will measure and report progress regularly as the plan moves forward.

Whakamaua has been shaped by feedback provided through an extensive engagement process. Whatua: Engagement for the development the Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025 has been published as a companion document to Whakamaua – giving visibility to the voices of Māori communities and the health and disability sector.

Whakamaua outlines a suite of actions that will help to achieve four high-level outcomes. These are:

  • Iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities exercising their authority to improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Ensuring the health and disability system is fair and sustainable and delivers more equitable outcomes for Māori.
  • Addressing racism and discrimination in all its forms. 
  • Protecting mātauranga Māori throughout the health and disability system.

You can learn more about He Korowai Oranga, Whakamaua, and Whatua by visiting the Ministry of Health website here

The Ministry has also released Whatua: Engagement for the development of the Māori Health Action Plan 2020-2025 as a companion document to Whakamaua. This report provides a summary of key themes from the Ministry’s engagement process with key stakeholders in 2019.