Striving for and achieving te Tiriti o Waitangi excellence
10.1 The opportunity
By delivering on te Tiriti o Waitangi, we will see diverse benefits for Māori within Pharmac and from our work. We want Māori, as tangata whenua, to see Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac as partners who will honour and uphold te Tiriti o Waitangi. We will build on whānau-centred and kaupapa Māori approaches to help deliver better health outcomes for Māori, including through collaboration with Te Whatu Ora, Te Aka Whai Ora, and Manatū Hauora. Embedding te Tiriti o Waitangi across the health and disability system is a key priority as outlined in the interim Government Policy Statement on Health.
Our Te Whaioranga Strategy has laid out a path to lift our overall performance in upholding te Tiriti. The review and the new Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act have given fresh impetus to this work. Increasing Māori within Te Pātaka Whaioranga, and on the committees that advise us, is a necessary component in demonstrating our commitment to te Tiriti.
10.2 Titiro whakamua – the path ahead
Te Tiriti o Waitangi cuts across all our priorities and is fundamental to our success. To achieve excellence, we need a comprehensive and cross-organisational approach. Our future work will include:
- living our values from te ao Māori to the full
- embedding Tiriti expectations into all our processes and approaches to work
- increasing the Māori voice in our work, including a strong partnership with Te Rōpū Māori
- increasing our visibility and accountability to Māori.
10.2.1 Live our values from te ao Māori to the full
As outlined on pages 12–13, our values reflect concepts from te ao Māori. They have garnered wide support from Māori and non-Māori alike. This has had an immediate effect on Māori perceptions of identity and place within the organisation. Embedding our values as a foundational framework for how we work is vital for future success.
10.2.2 Embed Tiriti o Waitangi expectations into all our processes and approaches to work
The Pae Ora health sector principles provide a framework for the whole health and disability system to embed te Tiriti o Waitangi. Pharmac has already developed our own te Tiriti policy, which outlines how we aspire to weave te Tiriti into all our work. The next step is implementing this policy, which will build te Tiriti into all aspects of our work.
10.2.3 Increase the Māori voice in our work, including a strong partnership with Te Rōpū Māori
By setting specific targets and developing a well-resourced strategy, we can increase the number of Māori employed by Pharmac and appointed across our expert advice network.
We have put in place a Māori Advisory Rōpū (te Rōpū Māori) to provide Māori leadership and high-level advice and guidance to the Pharmac Board and Senior Leadership Team Their role is to support Pharmac in our commitment to achieving the best health outcomes for Māori and upholding the articles and principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi across all our work.
It is also timely to review and renew Te Whaioranga to align it with the Pae Ora Act and Te Pae Tata, , the interim New Zealand Health Plan.
To create the environment for authentic wānanga with Māori, we will build, resource, and commit to the partnership framework with te Rōpū Māori and other existing Māori partners.
10.2.4 Increase our visibility and accountability to Māori
He kanohi kitea – the seen face – is an important value in te ao Māori. Meeting face-to-face builds and strengthens relationships. It is vital that we tūhono (connect) to Māori communities, whānau, hapū, and iwi, both informally and at formal events, to be seen as true te Tiriti partners.
Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies and providers told us that our current relationships need to grow towards a more strategic partnership. We value these relationships and need to increase our efforts in this area. We are keen to partner with Te Aka Whai Ora to see how we can deliver better health outcomes for Māori together.
We must be accountable to Māori and demonstrate our progress towards meeting our te Tiriti obligations. This is critical to Māori understanding, trust, and confidence in Pharmac. We want Māori to see we are authentic in our aspiration to be a safe place, including cultural safety, for Māori to work and flourish.
As outlined in Te Rautaki o Te Whaioranga, we aim to complete a full review of systemic bias and institutional racism as they relate to Māori across our work by the end of 2023. It will also support our goal to dismantle bias and racism currently embedded in our work.Over the next 3 years, we commit to working with and for Māori with disabilities and rare disorders. This will require a dedicated focus and the work will be in partnership with key players in the Māori disabilities and rare disorders spaces.
10.3 Getting started on our path – our 2022/23 commitments
For 2022/23, our specific commitments to move forward on this priority are:
10. prioritise giving effect to the health sector principles of Pae Ora, noting their significance for giving effect to te Tiriti, ensuring involvement of and engagement with Māori, and achieving Māori health equity.
11. prioritise an effective partnership with Te Aka Whai Ora
12. continue to make progress with Te Rōpū, our Advisory Committee, to provide strategic direction and help guide our work, including the co-development of a partnership framework
13. adopt our te Tiriti policy
14. commence a review, with Māori, of Te Whaioranga
15. adopt specific Te Tiriti accountabilities for the Senior Leadership Team
16. commence a full review of systemic bias and racism as they relate to Māori across our work
17. increased proportion of staff who are Māori experienced in mātauranga Māori and with close ties to whānau
18. implement a Māori capability development programme for all staff using Te Arawhiti guidelines
As noted in the priority area of enhanced assessment and decision making, we are also working to further improve how Māori health considerations are embedded into funding assessment work and the decisions we make.