Aotearoa New Zealand’s public health system has been found to be fragmented, inequitable and inconsistent. The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill lays the foundation for the transformation of our health system to address these issues.
In December 2021, dapaanz made a submission in support of the Bill.
Our submission recommended several amendments around strengthening the guarantee of independence of the Māori Health Authority, and changes to the section related to levies for alcohol-related harm.
Read our full submission below.
We are making a submission in support of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill on behalf of the Executive and Board of the Addiction Practitioners Association Aotearoa New Zealand (dapaanz).
This Bill honours the vision of Māori health leaders for an independent Māori health system to deal with persistent inequities and racism that our people experience when dealing with the health system. It is a huge step forward from our present reality, and if it had already been in place, we would not have seen nearly the amount of inequity and disparity that Māori have contended with during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the Bill needs to be strengthened to guarantee the independence of the Māori Health Authority and ensure that the Māori Health Authority is an equal partner of Health NZ.
We submit that the following changes are needed:
- The Bill must be extended to include the Minister of Māori Development in agreeing to the powers and authority presently vested solely in the Minister of Health. There must be a bilateral consent process between the two ministers, including when determining outcomes of disputes between the Māori Health Authority and Health NZ.
- Section 14 (1) must be amended so that the Māori Health Authority is vested with the same authority as Health NZ. This is a simple fix by extending subsections (b) to (q) to the Māori Health Authority as an equal partner.
- Rather than just listing the Māori-related functions of the Bill “In order to provide for the Crown’s intention to give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti”, the Te Tiriti o Waitangi clause (Section 6) must be amended to also lay out a commitment to implementing the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
- Section 19 (3) “The Māori Health Authority has all the powers necessary to perform its functions.” should be removed from the Bill. This clause is not in the equivalent section relating to Health NZ and could limit any future judgements of the courts in recommending an expansion of powers for the Māori Health Authority.
We submit our support related to the levies for alcohol-related harm, such that there remains a requirement on the alcohol levy to be used for activities that reduce harm from alcohol.
However, we submit the following changes should be made:
- This Bill should require the levy to include activities to support the prevention of alcohol-related harm, provide mechanisms and funding for early intervention, and alcohol treatment options for individuals and communities affected by alcohol-related harms.
- Section 96 (1) must be extended to include using the levy to fund new alcohol intervention services including prevention, early intervention, and treatment services rather than solely being used for wellbeing promotion. This has not delivered any recent alcohol harm campaigns, funded new interventions or funded treatment services to directly help individuals, whānau or community to recover from the harms related to alcohol.
We do not wish to speak to our submission.
Nāku noa, nā
Ben Birks Ang
Deputy Board Chair