Year in Review: Working with Māori for positive Māori health outcomes

“If you look at health statistics, our people are not doing well, plain and simple. The refreshed Te Whaioranga strategy has put the needs of Māori at the centre of PHARMAC’s work, which I believe over time will lead to better health outcomes for our people." -- PHARMAC Kaumatua, Bill Kaua.

Te Whaioranga is PHARMAC’s Māori health strategy and gives effect to our commitment to the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. It sets out how we aim to work with and support whānau Māori to achieve the best health and wellbeing through access to, and optimal use of, medicines and medical devices.

In 2019/20, we refreshed Te Whaioranga 2013-2023 to strengthen and provide support to PHARMAC’s new strategic direction and Statement of Intent, and to ensure actions to meet our Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations are integrated across all our work.

“I’m very pleased with the direction this strategy is going. There is still work to do, but I think PHARMAC is setting a great example for other Crown entities to follow,” says Kaumātua Bill Kaua.

The refresh was governed by a group that included our Chief Executive, Senior Leadership Team, Kaumātua, Bill Kaua ONZM, Dr Kathie Irwin (at that time Head of Māori and Capability at ACC), and John Whaanga (Deputy Director-General, Māori Health at the Ministry of Health). The work was supported by Māori-led consultancy Te Amokura.

The refreshed strategy states PHARMAC’s vision for Māori: Ka roa ake te oranga o te Māori, ka pai ake hoki tōna hauora. Kua piki ake te kounga o tōna noho me te mana taurite i te ao hauora. Māori are living longer in good health, and have improved quality of life and health equity.

This vision drives work that reflects PHARMAC’s role as a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner, including increasing the number of Māori in leadership throughout PHARMAC and its advisory networks, and improving Māori trust and confidence in PHARMAC. It also seeks to eliminate existing inequities in access to medicines for Māori.

Te Whaioranga is published on the PHARMAC website.