Rongoā Māori within the framework of Pharmac

OIA response

Thank you for your request transferred to Pharmc 28 August 2023 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to rongoā Māori. You requested:

  1. …information concerning Crown legislation and policy relating to rongoā Māori, including:
  2. Any documents, including advice, reports, briefings, aide memoires, internal briefings, meeting minutes, and other documents relating to the inclusion of rongoā Māori within the framework of PHARMAC.

Please find attached a number of documents that we have identified relating to Pharmac and rongoā Māori.  You’ll note that we have redacted a small amount of information from the documents as we consider this is necessary to protect the privacy of natural persons (section 9(2)(a)).

You’ll also note that there is minimal material that relates specifically to rongoā Māori being considered under Pharmac’s decision-making framework. This is a result of the regulatory system that Pharmac operates within.

As you may be aware, Pharmac is the government agency that determines which pharmaceuticals and medical devices will be publicly funded. However, before a medicine is funded by Pharmac, it needs to be evaluated and approved by Medsafe. Medsafe is the government agency responsible for the regulation of medicines in New Zealand. Without Medsafe approval for specific rongoā Māori therapies and medicinal products, Pharmac is unable to fund, and therefore assess, them.

We trust that this information answers your queries. Please note, you have the right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman about our response to your OIA, under section 28(3) of the OIA. Details of how to make a complaint(external link) are on the Ombudsman’s website.

To make information more freely available, we publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.