Priority | Equity for Māori


Te Pātaka Whaioranga – Pharmac considers inequitable outcomes for Māori unfair and unjust, and also avoidable, and is actively working to eliminate them.

What we've heard

“Māori want access to medicines full stop.”

“When we get it right for Māori, we get it right for everyone.”


  • Māori are the priority population for all equity work as a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner.
  • Inequity in access to medicines for Māori is eliminated.
  • Pharmac has built and earned trust from Māori, which is essential for the acceptance of medicines, medicines information and medicine literacy.
  • Pharmac is routinely and transparently reporting on Māori access to hospital medical devices and medicines to the extent that data allows and is working to address data gaps.

How we will measure this

  • Rates of Māori accessing funded medicines and related products (trend of decreasing equity gaps).
  • Medicines access equity for Māori is on track to being achieved. 

August 2022 update

We have:

  • adopted a special authority ethnicity criteria for some medicines (with greater use of this tool likely to help access and uptake in future)
  • piloted an equity capability self-assessment tool with the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC)
  • adopted a lower age threshold for Māori and Pacific people to access influenza vaccine
  • published the insights of the gout impact on Māori.

By 2023 we aim to have… 

  • prioritised establishing an effective partnership with the Te Aka Whai Ora Māori Health Authority
  • updated Hauora Arotahi – our Māori health areas of focus
  • completed our Equity Policy so we have a clear guide to ensure our mahi is delivering equity for Māori
  • Te Whaioranga team resourced to continue its work on building Māori equity capability across the organisation
  • improved rates of Māori accessing funded medicines and related products (trend of decreasing equity gaps).

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