New pregnancy assessment tool to support pēpi, māmā and whānau Māori

  • Hon Julie Anne Genter

Māori pēpi, māmā and whānau will have improved access to healthcare services they need with Best Start Kōwae – a new suite of pregnancy assessment tools – launched today.

"Having a healthy start to life should be every child's right - but for far too many tamariki Maori that's not the case - I'm thrilled to launch this programme with the National Hauora Coalition to help mums and babies get the support they need," Associate Minister for Health, Julie Anne Genter says.

The Best Start Kōwae pregnancy assessment tool is available for all pregnant mothers to use, but has a special focus on uptake and equity of māma and pēpi Māori. It aims to address Māori health disparities by ensuring all whānau receive the help they are entitled, to improve health outcomes for all babies.

The tool provides guidance on things like maternal immunisation, linking māma early in pregnancy with a lead maternity caregiver, smoking cessation support, social services for damp housing, or support with mental health or addictions or family violence.

It also works with the information systems those delivering primary care use - like midwives, general practitioners and nurses  – and means more information sharing, transparency, and visiblity of the care māmā and pēpi recieve.

“I want to thank the National Hauora Coalition for their unwavering commitment to addressing inequity in health and social outcomes through their work.

“As a country, we can do better for Māori māmā, whānau and pēpi so I’m glad we are supporting them with practical tools to help children have the best start to life.

"Having access to the healthcare they need is vital for our children and their whanau and I congratulate the National Hauora Coalition’s Generation 2040 project and the Ministry of Health for coming together on this very important cause,” says Julie Anne Genter.