The Government has no mandate for the introduction of a “Partnership” or “Co-Governed” arrangement when it comes to the provision of Health Services. Nor does it have a mandate for He Puapua and yet it is being implemented in the shape of this Bill. This is chilling.
Submission on the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill 2021
1. I cannot support this Bill because it is both undemocratic and proposes to divide New Zealanders by ethnicity.
2. I could support a reduction in the number of District Health Boards but I cannot support the removal of ALL District Health Boards.
3. I find it unconscionable that a Government should propose the disruption of the Health System during a health crisis. I also find it unconscionable that so much money should be diverted to a restructure during a pandemic instead of being used to save lives and improve the health of New Zealanders.
4. I agree with Section 7 (1) a) i & ii that health care opportunities must be equitable, and that there must be equitable levels of access to services. I cannot agree with 7 (1) iii that OUTCOMES must be equitable. That is an impossibility. Just as a field of athletes will not all cross the finishing line at the same time – because of variables such as age, fitness, genetic advantage, length of legs, motivation and work put into achieving the goal – nor, can citizens all achieve the same outcomes when it comes to health. The outcomes will vary according to age, diet, genetic history, fitness, substance abuse, socio-economic factors, luck and work put into achieving the goal.
5. This Bill plans to devote huge resources to achieving an impossible goal. It’s money down the drain which I oppose.
6. The purpose of the Bill seems to be about ensuring that health care is primarily devoted to one ethnic group – that of Maori. “Other populations” barely get a mention. “Other populations” are an after-thought. What about their rights to equitable health care?
7. Additionally, although Maori are well catered for by a separate Maori Health Authority, they are also to be given considerable influence and control over the policy and funding of the general health authority (Health NZ). I cannot see how this is necessary, efficient, fair or helpful in promoting social cohesion, and therefore I oppose it.
8. The governance of these new health systems is centralized, top heavy and highly bureaucratic. The Boards are unelected and the appointments look set to prioritize expertise in the Treaty of Waitangi and Maori tikanga over expertise in governance and health sector competencies. They are well protected from democratic accountability, especially at the grassroots level.
9. Additionally, the Minister of Health should not be subservient to a plethora of Hauora Maori Advisory committees and Iwi-Maori Partnership Boards. This is shaping up to be an absolute mess.
10. The Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi is to provide equality of citizenship for all New Zealanders. This Bill does not meet that obligation.
11. The Government has no mandate for the introduction of a “Partnership” or “Co-Governed” arrangement when it comes to the provision of Health Services. Nor does it have a mandate for He Pua Pua and yet it is being implemented in the shape of this Bill. This is chilling.
12. New Zealanders want health services to be prioritized on the basis of need.
13. For all the above reasons, I strongly oppose this Bill and recommend that it be scrapped.
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