As a population group, Maori people have on average the most indigent status of health as compared to any other ethnic community in New Zealand. A statistic which is not only discriminating but also unacceptable. If Maori people are to live longer, have healthy lives, and accomplish their full potential to participate in the development of the country just like any other citizen, factors that cause severe inequalities in health and healthcare as a whole should be addressed as soon as possible. It is in this context that the government of the New Zealand through the Ministry of health has made primary priorities to stop health inequalities by introducing Maori Health Strategy.
Maori Health Strategy forms a proper direction for Maori health growth in the disability and health sector. The strategy provides an outline for the public sector to take responsibility for the part it plays in supporting the health status of people in the region (Came McCreanor, Doole, & Rawson, 2016). The primary objective of this strategy is to help families, individuals, and community of Maori who has been neglected to get the maximum health and wellbeing. Specifically, Whanau (koroua, kuia, pekeke, tamariki, and rangatahi) is known as the major foundation of the Maori society (Hayes, 2016). As the principal of strength, security, and identity, whanau plays an essential role in the lifestyle and wellbeing of Maori both collectively and individually. Therefore, the aim of this strategy is to ensure that health and disability sectors are aware of the interdependence of individuals, that wellbeing and healthcare are affected and influenced by the collective and the individuals, and the significance of working together in the social context.
Maori Health Strategy has got three elements. The first one is Mauri ora which means healthy individuals. This concept captures the of individuals and sets directions for the health organization to make sure that Maori, as clients of the health services, has ways to services that accomplish their immediate requirements and their future needs through all stages of their lives.
The second element is Whanau ora which means healthy families. This concept is about supporting and encouraging Maori families to get their maximum wellbeing and health. A healthy family is driven by the emphasis on the fact that whanau being self-managing, having healthy lifestyles and positively contributing to society. It is an essential area of setting that forms the ground for a healthy future (Jones et al., 2010).
The last element is Wai ora which means healthy environments. It summarizes the significance of the environments where people live which has got noteworthy effects on the health and well-being of people and communities (Whitinui, 2011). Healthy environments refer to water, both as a resource and as a vital part of the atmosphere that delivers sustenance for life. It reflects the necessity for Maori to access the resources and be part of environments that support and sustain a healthy life.
Came, H., McCreanor, T., Doole, C., & Rawson, E. (2016). The New Zealand Health Strategy 2016: whither health equity?. The New Zealand medical journal, 129(1447), 72-77.
Hayes, R. (2016). Whanau Ora: A Maori health strategy to support Whanau in Aotearoa. Whitireia Nursing & Health Journal, (23), 25.
Jones, R., Pitama, S., Huria, T., Poole, P., McKimm, J., Pinnock, R., & Reid, P. (2010). Medical education to improve Maori health. The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online), 123(1316).
Whitinui, P. (2011). The Treaty and Treating Maori Health: Politics, policy and partnership. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 7(2), 138-151.
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