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Tackling Pacific health inequities head-on

Tackling Pacific health inequities head-on

  • 21 Nov 2022

(Picture caption: The Ola Manuia interim Pacific Health Plan will tackle Pacific health inequities head-on.) 

Associate Health Minister Hon. Aupito William Sio recently launched the Ola Manuia interim Pacific Health Plan at an event in Auckland, alongside Te Whatu Ora National Director Pacific Health Markerita Poutasi and others from the Pacific health sector and community to celebrate the new plan. 

Ola Manuia provides a detailed guide for Te Whatu Ora’s Pacific Health work programme over the next two years – and its commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa. 

It is a companion document to Te Pae Tata - interim New Zealand Health Plan, providing more detail on Te Whatu Ora’s approach for strengthening Pacific Health enablers and taking action on seven critical Pacific Health priorities.

Minister Sio says there are areas of the health system which have not been working well for Pacific people and this was an opportunity for the disparity in Pacific health outcomes to be addressed.

“That is why the Government has made a specific commitment to addressing health inequities for Pacific communities,” he adds.

New Zealand’s health system was overhauled in June, when the 20 district health boards were disestablished and the functions of those district health boards merged into Te Whatu Ora - Health New Zealand.

Māori got their own health authority and Pacific communities have been assured equitable healthcare under the new system.

Ola Manuia would urgently tackle rising health issues and the care gaps that were exacerbated during the pandemic, Minister Sio says.

“Ola Manuia is just the beginning as we work to tackle inequities head on and lift Pacific wellbeing.

“In 2023 a Pacific Health Strategy will be developed under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022.

“For the first time a Pacific Health Strategy is legislated to ensure on-going accountability.

“My vision is that a comprehensive health plan for our people will be created,” Minister Sio says.

The development of the interim plan included consultation with people working in Pacific health and Pacific communities.

Ola Manuia is a companion document to Te Pae Tata - the Interim New Zealand Health Plan, announced in October.

The interim New Zealand Health Plan has six key priority actions for Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand and Te Aka Whai Ora - Māori Health Authority and serves as a guide for how the Government broadly plans to deliver on its intentions.

The summary document will soon be available in nine Pacific languages on the Tu Whatu Ora website.