Make Maori Health Authority & Health NZ CEO's Co Director-Generals of Health

GOVT Has Unique Opportunity to Appoint New MOH Boss

Te Pāti Māori Co-leader and Health spokesperson Debbie Ngarewa-Packer is calling on the Government to use the unique opportunity of Dr Ashley Bloomfield’s resignation to recognise the new chief executives of the Māori Health Authority and Health NZ as Co Director-Generals of Health.

“The truth is that the health system fails Māori. The absolute failure of the Crown over decades in ensuring Māori equality of access and outcome is best evidenced in the health portfolio,“ said Ngarewa-Packer.

“With the establishment of the Māori Health Authority a new era in Māori health is arriving. It’s crucial that this is done right, and there is no other way of guaranteeing that then letting Māori lead. We must not have a situation where the Māori Health Authority can be vetoed or underfunded by Pākehā bureaucrats.

“Riana Manuel and Fepulea'i Margie Apa have been appointed as chief executives of the Māori Health Authority and Health NZ. We are calling for the legislation to be restructured so that they are recognised as Co Director-Generals of Health.

“Government has already been through a process and appointed these two fabulous leaders. With Dr Bloomfield resigning, what better opportunity to elevate them into the top job.

“COVID-19 and the mental health crisis have highlighted just how important it is that we have Māori leadership at the most senior levels of our health system. We need a system that understand us and is responsive to our needs, not a system that refuses to share power and resources,” said Ngarewa-Packer.