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Maori health and children not a priority

Written By: - Date published: 3:20 pm, July 11th, 2016 - 77 comments
Categories: accountability, babies, discrimination, health, Maori Issues, national - Tags: , ,

Essential reading, two pieces by Olivia Carville in The Herald today.

Lower infant death target slammed

A Maori health target for sudden infant death was lowered by Government officials because it was too difficult to achieve – even though Maori babies are five times more likely to die this way.

Last year, the Ministry of Health reduced the target from 100 per cent to just 70 per cent of caregivers of 6-week-old Maori babies being warned of the risks of sudden infant death.

Ministry officials said the lowered target, which came into force this month, was more reasonable for health workers. This target did not drop for any other ethnicity.

What the hell?

‘Institutional racism’ behind funding decision

The Government’s refusal to fund a Maori safe sleep device that has been saving babies lives for the past decade has been labelled “institutional racism” by doctors and politicians.

Every year in New Zealand, 50 babies die from Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI), with more than half being accidentally suffocated.

Maori babies are eight times more likely to die from unintentional suffocation, largely because of high smoking rates and the cultural custom of bed-sharing.

Over the past decade, Coroners have repeatedly highlighted this inequality, while labelling these deaths a major public health concern and an “indictment on our society.”

“If those were pakeha babies dying the Ministry would be going to extraordinary lengths to find an innovative way of saving them,” said Hastings GP Dr David Tipene-Leach, who designed a safe sleep device called the wahakura to prevent these deaths back in 2006.

Institutional racism is exactly what it looks like.

Someone needs to ask the Maori Party how proud they are to be propping up this government.

77 comments on “Maori health and children not a priority”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    This target did not drop for any other ethnicity.

    What is the target for other ethnicities?

    IMO, all parents need to be told of the dangers of sudden infant death and cautions to take to reduce it.

    “If those were pakeha babies dying the Ministry would be going to extraordinary lengths to find an innovative way of saving them,” said Hastings GP Dr David Tipene-Leach

    Would they or is that just an unfounded assertion?

    • McFlock 1.1

      First part seems to be the journo getting the wrong end of the stick – it’s a Māori health target because Māori rates are so high, and the 100% was lowered to 70% as an interim target for the next year.

      According to a recent baseline and target information document, the non-Māori rates of SUDI information are already at 62% (with several DHBs over the 70% target), whereas Māori SUDI information is at 48% (with no DHB reaching 70%).

      But that’s all funding and planniing anyway – whether it’s an unrealist 100% and you work on the slower ones, or it’s 70% and you then increase it to 100% and work on the ones who didn’t reach the 70% target, it’s really only semantics.

      The wahakura/pepipod thing is more concerning – it’s not just that those things have reasonable supporting evidence from trials, there is a massive amount of plausibility based on the current knowledge of SUDI, and it addresses one of the main causes of SUDI that kills around 25 kids a year.

      If anything’s worth a punt for the price of a ministerial limo or two, this is it. Is it racism? Not really for me to say, but it sure screams a massive lack of give-a-damn. Not even at the bureaucracy level, at the cabinet level. The bureaucracy works with the budget it has based on the evidence it has – it’s up to the minister or cabinet to take the initiative.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Why ministerial level? Isn’t this a decision made within the MoH for other reasons?

        • McFlock

          Well, if the data is still a little bit iffy then it might be a reasonable bureaucratic decision, particularly as the health sector is on starvation rations at the moment.

          However, with no plausible downside and minimal cost, I’d expect there be enough leeway in some other line items for them to find the money for it, even if they hadn’t had the opportunity to throw some crumbs that direction in several successive budgets.

          It’s a bit like herceptin, but not nearly as expensive, more likely to actually save lives, and the entire program could almost come out of the MoBie’s wiggly tv budget.

          • weka

            I have a feeling it’s something to do with the MoH’s view on co-sleeping. They want to focus on other messages, esp ‘don’t co-sleep’.

            • McFlock

              There’s possibly a fair bit to that, although a lot of folk are coming around to a more sophistacated message of “safe sleep” – especially after the multiplicative rather than additive factors of smoking and unsafe sleep came to light.

              The last major blockage to intransigence, from what I gather, is that the pepipod randomised control trial still hasn’t finished. Once that’s done with I suspect the results will be persuasive to all but the biggest knobs.

              • weka

                “especially after the multiplicative rather than additive factors of smoking and unsafe sleep came to light.”

                What does that mean? It’s been a long time since I looked at this but I thought co-sleeping was pretty safe in and of itself once you took out smoking and drinking.

                One of the media reports said the MoH had concerns about the safety of the pepipod. What was that about?

                • McFlock

                  Haven’t got the research in front of me, but ISTR that co-sleeping is still associated by itself with an elevated incidence of SUDI, and smoking in pregnancy is also associated with an elevated (but larger than cosleeping) risk by itself, but the risk of doing both isn’t just A+B, it’s worse. They feed off each other to create a much greater problem.

                  Dunno about specific pepi pod safety concerns offhand.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        The wahakura/pepipod thing is more concerning – it’s not just that those things have reasonable supporting evidence from trials, there is a massive amount of plausibility based on the current knowledge of SUDI, and it addresses one of the main causes of SUDI that kills around 25 kids a year.

        Yep, seams like a really stupid idea to stop funding it. Looks like a good item to have.

        • weka

          Turei has been researching the Finnish model, which offers all new born families a starting pack. The NZ version would include a pepi pod.

          here’s the GP version policy from 2014,



          • The lost sheep

            My understanding is that the funded pepipod were specifically targeted to a criteria of exposure to smoking?
            In that case, as it’s only $60 we are talking about, why not ask the parents to give up smoking for 3 packs and buy the pepipod themselves?
            Seems a small thing to do for something of such major benefit to your own kids?

            • weka

              Because lots of people are unaware of public health issues, which is why we have many public health initiatives that don’t rely on user-pays or everyone already understanding what the issues are.

              There are also well known principles in health delivery around cultural appropriateness, access, education etc, which again is why we have public health initiatives i.e. they work.

              I’m glad for you that you’ve never had to not be able to afford $60 for something important, but that’s not true for many people esp those who’ve got a new baby.

              • The lost sheep

                But the free pepi pods come on condition that support and education go with it Weka?
                So to take the program up, the parents have to be aware that it is smoking that makes them eligible for the programme.

                Why would they not then be happy to sacrifice a tiny portion of the money they do have to spend on smoking in order to gain the health benefit for their child that has been explained to them?

                And if they are made aware of it, and are not willing to make that small sacrifice of not smoking 3 packs…why should hard working tax payers subsidise them?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Because “hard-working taxpayers” – aka self-aggrandising ungrateful trash* – created the conditions for poverty and all that goes with it. Smug scum like you then blame the victims of your own greed and incompetence.

                  Why are there always so many more bad choices under National? Can’t answer that can you.

                  *as a taxpayer, I find your sick attempt to pretend to somehow speak for me obscene, you low life slug.

                  • The lost sheep

                    Still a rusty can blowing down an empty road then OAB?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Still crying a river of crocodile tears over child mortality and homelessness while supporting the causes of child mortality and homelessness, then whinging that you can’t get any respect, I see.

                • weka

                  You’re not listening sheep.

                  Public health intitiatives work where they don’t expect user pays. That’s why they’re public health initiatives. Where you present a punitive initiative you get less uptake, therefore it’s not a good use of public health funds.

                  Besides, the pepipods (and intro pack) should be offered to all new born families, because that way you get the people who need the package, not the people who neoliberals think deserve the package. Again, that’s the point of public health (a concept I think you really don’t understand very well).

                  If you want to target smokers only, you are going to miss the families where smoking isn’t an issue. How many dead babies are you ok with? Just curious. Again, try and think about this from a public health perspective.

                  • The lost sheep

                    The people who need the pepi pods are quite sharply defined Weka. Which is why the free ones are targeted specifically at children who have been exposed to smoking.

                    Parents who can pay to smoke, could afford to give up a small amount of smoking to protect their kids? That seems quite a simple concept that anyone can understand?

                    • weka

                      Citation for the pepi pods being targeted only at babies who come from smoking households.

                    • The lost sheep


                      ‘At-risk babies are defined as infants from low socio-economic families. Their parents are likely to share the bed with their baby and are also likely to smoke.

                      If parents fulfil this criteria, they go home with a pepi-pod worth $60. So far, 5000 of these pods have been handed out from 700 distribution centres around the country.’


                      ‘PSSs are not for all babies. They are a public health response to the higher risk of sudden infant death
                      for babies who are more vulnerable due to exposure to smoking, especially in pregnancy

                      PSS are not free baby beds for poor families. They are a central component of a comprehensive
                      service that needs to be embedded into a SUDI prevention strategy and regional infant health plan. A
                      Pēpi-PodÒ service needs a project action group, coordinator, PSSs and bedding packs, referral
                      processes and criteria, agencies and distributors authorised to distribute, a thorough recipient
                      briefing, follow-up of and feedback from users and systems for recording, monitoring,
                      communicating et cetera.’

                    • The lost sheep

                      So if parents that smoke during pregnancy and in the house are informed that their baby will have a significantly increased risk of death if they have it in bed with them because of that….
                      And they are then informed that the Pepi Pod can significantly reduce this risk.
                      And they are continuing to spend money on tobacco.

                      Isn’t it a reasonable expectation that they should take some responsibility themselves for this known risk to their child?
                      Just $60 of responsibility. The price of the next 3 packets of fags that they are going to purchase?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, it isn’t “reasonable”. That would imply “reasoning”, which would involve facts, which take no notice of your false beliefs.

                      You’ve had the dynamics of poverty explained to you by very many people using big and small words many many times, and still you persist in spewing your hateful drivel instead.

                      Why are there so many more homeless children under National? Go bathe in your crocodile tears.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You believe that lower socio economic groups are not capable of reasoning and/or understanding facts OAB?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You are the one lacking reason, dipshit, which renders your opinion of what is “reasonable” suspect at best.

                      Your opinion takes no account of the facts, and blames your existing victims while creating more. As if to illustrate your complete lack of ethics or empathy, you flail about trying to score stupid debating points rather than answering the question.

                      Why did you vote for so many more homeless children? You’ve been around long enough to know exactly what the National Party is, and you supported them anyway.

                      Oh noes, your personal responsibility turns out to be yet another set of empty words.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Don’t want to answer that simple question OAB?

                    • UncookedSelachimorpha

                      TLS lacks the sense or compassion to understand that the child does not choose the circumstances into which it is born. Plus he/she prefers to blame the poor for their plight, rather than look for good outcomes for society.

                      User Pays is simply a means to erode the social contract, for the purpose of increasing the transfer of wealth from poor to rich.

                      How about the millionaires and billionaires pay more tax (which they can easily spare), and we have a stack of free pepi-pods at every maternity ward and plunket, plus good free advice on their use and benefit for all? Problem solved and a good social outcome all round.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sure: your vapid point scoring attempt misses its target in that it fails utterly to comprehend let alone articulate my opinion.

                      You voted for more homeless children, you rancid ghoul.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Speaking of simple concepts, it seems completely beyond this ovine dullard to imagine that the effects of inequality might be measurable.

                      Take mental health, for example: inversely proportional to the GINI: higher GINI, less mental health.

                      What that means on the ground is just one tiny baby step too far 🙄

                • Michelle

                  We are already subsidizing working for families which is middle class welfare. We also fund maternity leave and we are putting millions of dollars into private education more middle class welfare. So why not pay for some of these wahakura. We are quick to send the Maori mothers to prison and how much does this cost us ?

                  • The lost sheep

                    If we are talking about parents who can afford to smoke, and smoking is the reason their baby is at extra risk, why should the parents not undertake the responsibility for diverting a small amount of money from smoking to reducing the risk to their own child Michelle?

                    Surely that is a reasonable case for a small amount of self-responsibility?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      And there it is: the wingnut plan to tackle homelessness, poverty, and inequality is to go door-to-door waving a nanny-stick.

                      Anything but accept that they voted for more homeless children like empathy-free scum.

                    • The lost sheep

                      OAB / Uncooked
                      I’m guessing all that Reductio ad absurdum generalisation is an attempt to avoid facing up to the very specific and limited point I am addressing.

                      Which is that people whose own behavior is the cause of their own child’s extra level of risk, and who self evidently have money available they could divert to moderate that risk, should have some self responsibility for doing so?

                      It’s patronising, dis-empowering garbage, but I suspect you actually do believe that being in a lower socio economic group means you lack the cognitive ability to take any responsibility for your actions, and are therefore excused from any self responsibility at all?

                      And let me guess, your answer is for all the responsibility for their lives to be devolved to a benevolent Mother State – run by overseers of superior intelligence and belief such as yourselves?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I suspect you actually do believe

                      What does it take to get it through your thick fucking skull that “your” witless borrowed opinions cast no light upon what I or anyone else thinks?

                      Do you honestly reckon, you low-rent tosser, that no-one here has heard your rote-learned smears before?

                      And all this because you like to vote for more homeless children, and you can’t stand to own it.

                      your answer is

                      …to build some fucking houses, and beyond that, govern more competently than the homelessness lovers.

                • McFlock

                  Why do you insist on penalising hard-working parents by forcing them to subsidise the pods? They’re not the ones who benefit from the pepi pods, the babies are. Maybe, at birth, a student loan account should be opened and the $60 for the pod be added to the baby’s loan account. That way the child doesn’t leech off workers and taxpayers.

                  If you’re going to make a health intervention user pays, at least correctly identify the user. /sarc

                  • The lost sheep

                    I am a supporter of interventions for hard working people who have run out of options McFlock, and in fact facilitate several schemes with that purpose myself (cue sneers).

                    All I am referring to above is one specific set of circumstances, where the people concerned, are smokers, and do have a clear option available to give up a very small amount of their smoking, and provide the benefit to their child themselves.

                    If they understand the risk to their child, and want and are willing to use the Pepi Pod because of that, why should they not put aside some tobacco money to pay for it?

                    It seems to me that is a very basic level of self responsibility to their own child, and I’m struggling with the idea that parents understanding the Pepi Pod proposition would not buy one rather than giving up 3 packets of fags – and some people would not see that as a failure of responsibility?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …and some people see it as a complete abdication of responsibility on the part of right wing dimbulbs, who vote for and cause increased morbidity, inequality and misery, then blame the victims.

                      Then they trot out zombie arguments that were already stupid when Gin Alley was composed, and think themselves erudite.

                      Why do they vote for misery and homelessness? Are they sadists or just utterly stupid?

                    • McFlock

                      But it’s not self responsibility, it’s responsibility to a child.
                      If you don’t care about the life of a baby, like any normal human being does, why do you expect other people to behave like normal human beings?

                      Apparently, random people in Dallas surrounded a stroller to protect a baby from bullets. You can’t even be bothered to throw a trace-element amount of taxation at babies to save maybe 25 of them a year.

            • McFlock

              And another thing, sheep – we’re already talking about people who are addicted to smoking so that concerns for neither their own health or that of their unborn baby can help them stop, and you think this will suddenly change once it’s born? Given the prevalence of smoking in the poorer deciles compared to the richer ones, do you really think that there’ll be much disposable cash to help the uptake of your user-pays idea?

              No, you’re just looking for another excuse to ignore dead babies, you selfish sheep.

              • The lost sheep

                Smoking or any other addition is not an excuse for not caring for your children McFlock.
                Besides, I wasn’t suggesting a drastic modification of their habit in the interests of their unborn child.
                Just say cutting back a tiny wee bit for a short time in order to provide a major health benefit to their unborn child.
                How many people are so addicted and cognitively deficient that they could not do that? FA IMO.

                • McFlock

                  Your opinion counts for nothing because you think a baby’s life is somebody else’s problem.

                  • The lost sheep

                    I think a parent should have at least 3 packets of fags self responsibility towards the welfare of their own child.
                    I even think a child will have better outcomes if it grows up with parents who have exercised such a degree of responsibility than those who do not.

                    Put’s me right up there with Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler and people who put their children in clothes dryers.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Obviously you wish reality was different than what it is, and that “should” have clued you into something.

                      Imagine a society with generally poor mental health. “Should” you expect its children to have better or worse outcomes than a society with generally good mental health?

                      “Should” you learn anything from this little thought exercise, you’ll have lifted yourself above the average wingnut, and that “should” be a win-win.

                      Meanwhile, on Earth, you will keep parroting rote-learned hate speech like Augusto Pinochet’s parrot.

                    • McFlock

                      No, what makes you a tory is the fact that you want people to not just stop smoking, you want to use their failure to stop smoking as an excuse to avoid you or anyone else (via government funding) actually doing something to keep a baby alive.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Imagine a society with generally poor mental health.

                      I could, but I prefer to stick to the fact that I live in a country that has generally good mental health, a high level of well being and life satisfaction, smoking rates decreasing and 98% of adults rating their children’s health as good, very good or excellent.



                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Nonetheless, given our worsening inequality statistics, “should” you expect to see better or worse outcomes for children as a result of your stupid selfish waste of the vote your betters won for you?

                      PS: I note that you can’t answer the question: you voted for extra misery and you can’t explain yourself. I think one good outcome “should” be that people spit on you in the street.

                    • McFlock

                      why waste the spit.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I was thinking more of a sort of stocks, so that our ovine Quisling could be (by a court order) presented to the public with gaping yap as a makeshift spitoon, and in this way better embody the Sixteenth Century values he espouses.

                    I understand that this makes me a bad person, but hey, at least I’m not a Tory.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  1. Right wing policy increases the GINI.
                  2. The increase in the GINI weakens the mental health of the community.
                  3. The well-being of the most vulnerable suffers the most, as usual.
                  4. Along comes some moralising sadistic trash with a nanny stick.

                  He voted for extra misery, now acts all innocent when extra misery ensues.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Why make it so much more expensive?

              As it is the pepipod is used by one family for 6 months and then passed on to the next family. This means that one $60 goes a hell of a lot further than you’re idea of the family buying it themselves.

              This is the failure of user pays. It costs far more in money and resources, gets less done because those people can no longer afford other stuff and generally fucks up society because it enforces selfishness.

            • reason

              Get people like john key to stop building tax havens for the rich to hide their loot …..

              Stop the corporations like Apple, google etc stop using tax havens and scams …………..

              Stop Aussie banks and bent accountants using ‘tax vehicles’ to scam $2.2 billion …..

              Confiscate the assets of those using tax havens …………..

              Confiscate New Zealand land, properties or farms brought through tax havens or firms like Mossack Fonseca …. there may be legit reasons people who are hiding their identity have used trusts and tax haven firms like Mossack Fonseca ……….. they can explain it in full ……………. or confiscation will take place.

              There is lots of money that COULD be used for proper healthcare .

              Tax havens is a white mans business in New Zealand …. they don’t give a stuff about brown kids.

  2. leftie 2

    Marama Fox will tell you she’s very proud “sitting at the table” and don’t bother about Te Ururoa Flavell, he is far removed inside his bubble. And that seems to be about the extent of it.

    • leftie 2.1

      imo, the Maori Party do not deserve to be returned to parliament next year. Kick them out along with Nact and Dunne.

    • TC 2.2

      ACT and Maori effectively are subsidaries of the national party.

      Marama Fox would be right at home doing Parata or Tolleys role she is cunning and nasty, perfect national fodder.

      • Michelle 2.2.1

        We are already subsidizing working for families which is middle class welfare. We also fund maternity leave and we are putting millions of dollars into private education more middle class welfare. So why not pay for some of these wahakura. We are quick to send the Maori mothers to prison and how much does this cost us ? Marama Fox is not nasty nor is she cunning what you see is what you get sounds like you are confusing her with Judith Collins

  3. leftie 3

    Like many other things, this should not be happening in New Zealand. Bloody shocking!!

  4. weka 4

    The Māori Party are an easy target here, but the whole limo argument is just lazy IMO and bordering on racist. Māori have good reasons for making decisons that the left don’t like, and calling them bauble reasons makes those reasons invisible. It also makes it harder to understand what is going on i.e. why the Mp are supporting a NACT govt. Maybe it’s time for the left to start putting some effort into understanding Māori ways of seeing things.

    We (on the left) might also want to consider that the Mp might be part of the formation of the next left wing govt and what it will mean to have been slagging off the Mp all this time. I for one think that Marama Fox is doing good as an MP and I’m glad she is in parliament.

    Which doesn’t mean that the Mp shouldn’t be critiqued, but can we at least make the critiques mean something beyond “you’re stupid and venal for supporting National”?

    • McFlock 4.1

      I mentioned limos because it’s typical of this government’s waste.

      I wasn’t even considering this party vs that party. The point is that the Wahakura/pepipod concepts are bugger-all money in exchange for some significant possible benefits. Any one of two or three ministers could find an excuse and a line item to justify that intervention – health, social welfare, or whatever.

      • weka 4.1.1

        Unfortunately the limo meme is generally reserved for Mp MPs, as if Māori don’t have legitimate reasons for working on the right as well as the left and are only there for the baubles. I was also thinking about Natwatch’s poke at the Mp at the end of the post. Seemed unnecessary to me, and ironic given they were pointing to institutional racism in the sentence before.

        I agree with your point re the cost and budgets, which is why I think there is something else going on.

    • leftie 4.2

      What’s the justification you think there is for the Maori party to support this obscene key National government? Maori are far more worst off now than what they were before. What’s the point of “sitting at the table” when nothing gets done? heck, even Te Reo has declined during the last 8 years.

      Personally, I would not like to see the tory Maori party being part of the next government. A vote for the Maori party is a vote for National, as far as I am concerned.

      • Michelle 4.2.1

        And our people know this that’s why they voted Labour hoping for some decent social policy and someone who cares under Nats it all about the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor remaining poor or becoming poorer

      • Michelle 4.2.2

        And our people know this that’s why they voted Labour hoping for some decent social policy and someone who cares under Nats it all about the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor remaining poor or becoming poorer

    • leftie 4.3

      Hello Weka. What’s the justification you think there is for the Maori party to continue to support this obscene key National government? There are a number of instances that the Maori party should have walked away, but didn’t. Maori are far more worst off now than what they were before. What’s the point of “sitting at the table” when nothing gets done? heck, even Te Reo has declined during the last 8 years.

      Personally, I would not like to see the tory Maori party being part of the next government. A vote for the Maori party is a vote for National, as far as I am concerned.

      • leftie 4.3.1

        Ooops apologies for the double post.

      • weka 4.3.2

        Hi leftie. National don’t need the Mp to govern, they have enough seats without them, so the Mp not being in govt would not prevent National from doing what it is doing. So you are suggesting that the Mp don’t be in govt on principle, but I think they would see advantage to being there that is more valuable than the principle you might hold.

        If the Mp weren’t in govt who would be in charge of Whānau Ora? Do you think that Whānau Ora would be better or worse from the absence of the Mp?

        Likewise, if the Mp weren’t in govt how would you see Māori being better off? Can you please be specific?

        I’m curious which Mp policies you see as tory? Esp which ones they might have influence over in the next left wing govt.

        btw, they don’t have to be part of the next government, they could support L/G on confidence and supply.

        • leftie

          Hello Weka. The Maori party does support National though, and that is what I am asking, what are the advantages of the Maori party supporting National? Isn’t Whanau Ora fraught with issues of mishandling and under funding? I read somewhere that Tariana Turia is not at all happy with the way it is being handled. Maybe Whanu Ora will be better funded and run under a new progressive government. Given the last 8 years, do you think Maori have been made better off with the Maori party in government?
          IMO I think Maori need better representation, I’m hopeful a new government will take steps to improve the lives of all Kiwis. And I cannot see how the Maori party would have much of an influence over the next new government, what makes you think that they would? Do you know what the current policies are? Have they changed from the few in 2014? What is the Maori party offering to the people that other parties can’t? Do you think the Maori party, even with the National party fundraiser dinners, will be able to garner enough support from Maori, who have largely abandoned them, to retain their seat next time?

          • weka

            You didn’t answer my questions leftie, so I think it’s a bit unfair to ask me to answer yours.

            I’m glad you accept that the Mp don’t have any affect on whether National are in power or not. I do think that Māori are better off with the Mp in govt than outside, not least because I think it’s up to Māori to decide that and they did.

            The Mp might be the deciding factor in whether L/G get to form govt. That’s a big influence. Would you prefer that they didn’t and supported National to form govt instead?

            Whānau Ora gets maligned a lot, esp in the MSM and on leftie social media. I think it does far more good than it is given credit for. If you want to quote Turia authoritatively, please link.

            • leftie

              Hello Weka. I thought I did answer to the best of my abilities, if it is not up your standard, then there is not much I can do about that. I thought it was a discussion, what’s unfair about asking for your opinion. I have given mine.
              Now don’t put words into my mouth by trying to reframe the question after I answered it, and you didn’t answer my question on what the Maori party’s policies are. I never said the Maori party don’t have any affect on whether National are in power or not. You did.
              How are Maori better off with the Maori party in government? Would be interested in seeing the proof of that, as it’s certainly not something I am seeing with my own eyes, and from various news reports over the years Maori are more marginalized and have sunk even deeper into poverty, despite the Maori party saying that the reason they supported National was to put food on the table of poor Maori. That is definitely not happening, particularly in places like up North for example.

              The Maori Party has been supporting National for 8 years, so that is not a new scenario is it? And like I said in a previous post, it’s my opinion, that a vote for the Maori party is a vote for National. Maybe the Maori party might not be a deciding factor anyway. To repeat my question, what is the Maori party offering to the people that other parties can’t? Do you think the Maori party, even with the National party fundraiser dinners, will be able to garner enough support from Maori, who have largely abandoned them, to retain their seat next time?

              Sure leftie social media can be critical, but MSM malign and attack everyone and everything that’s not National and blue, same with rightie social media too.

              I found the following link for you.

              Watchdog criticises Whānau Ora
              9:50 am on 6 May 2015

              <a href="http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/272910/watchdog-criticises-whanau-ora

            • Karen

              I agree with some of what you are saying Weka but not all. Early this year Māori Party supported the Nacts sale of state houses legislation, and although the Nats don’t need their support now, this wasn’t true before Winston won Northland. They have helped keep the National Party in power since 2008.

              I like Marama Fox and feel she has definitely made a difference as to whether the MP could work with a Labour/Green coalition, and I agree it is not helpful to keep attacking the party.

              I also think that the Whānau Ora programme has potential but I also think there are lots of problems with it too. One of the big problems it that the measures of their success are often just anecdotal and they have been very reluctant to collect and share data. When it was brought in the funding for a number of other successful programmes was cut – it wasn’t new money, but it is impossible to measure their success against other models . It also uses up too much of its funding in bureaucracy .

              • leftie

                IMO the Maori party deserve the criticism, and the only reason why the Maori Party is in parliament today, is because National wanted them there.

              • weka

                Are you sure about the Mp having been needed to form govt Karen? Looks to me like National, ACT and UF had enough seats without the Mp.


                I agree the Mp do some daft things and things that I find bizarre from my left wing position. My point was that Māori are entitled to their own politics, and that most of the criticisms I see of the Mp come from a place of not understanding what those are.

                Likewise with Whānau Ora. Yes there have been problems, but it’s also true that many major govt funded Māori initiative have ‘problems’. I don’t think that’s on Māori, I think it’s on Pākehā and institutional racism. Most Pākehā want to support Māori on Pākehā terms, not on Māori terms. Should Whānau Ora be measured solely in terms that the Pākehā system approves of, or are there other ways too?

                • Karen

                  The problems with Whānau Ora that I am referring to have been identified by Māori . As I have said, the concept is a good one, but that doesn’t mean it’s claims of success shouldn’t be independently evaluated. That is the only way to learn what works well and what doesn’t. When there are limited funds then you don’t want to waste any of it because people in real need miss out.

                  I am very aware of institutional racism and the problems with Pākehā deciding what is ‘best’ for Māori. I certainly am not suggesting that some Pākehā organisation would do better.

                  • weka

                    I pretty much agree Karen. Mostly my comments here are to address teh easy pot shot at the Mp thing on a left wing blog where generally people make bugger all attempt to understand Māori perspectives esp when they don’t suit lefties or Pākehā.

    • Fran 4.4

      @ Weka. Well done here, much of the uninformed comment is not borderline racist it is just racist. Sadly, this is not just a right wing problem but a societal problem. The MP are an easy target because of mainstream perceptions about who Maori are. Many people become uneasy when Maori behave in ways that don’t fit with those perceptions. Good on you for highlighting this.

      • Greg 4.4.1

        Disagreeing with particular policy , or criticizing a social construction belief doesnt make someone racist, or misogynist. Labels which make any criticism null and void , and can then be ignored. National and Labour have used Maori as political footballs in the past, as a mainstream distraction. Its getting rather tiresome, and the media play it up. Look at the reported racist criminal activity targeting by youths recently in Auckland.


        Donald trump is using race and sexism to his advantage that polarizes support for him. Someone that is suppose to be a rabid misogynist, yet has been married five times, and has two children. How does that work.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Disagreeing with particular policy , or criticizing a social construction belief doesn’t make someone racist, or misogynist.

          Meanwhile, Fran didn’t do that. They described some comments as racist. There’s a difference.

          As for Trump being married five times and misogyny, the latter might explain the former.

          • Greg

            I didnt say she had, i was being general,
            people frame views and causes around media and political propaganda,

            what real news or reporting anymore,
            even the weather report has become political…sigh,

  5. Greg 5

    likely a program to be picked up here,


    Since it may be something the MOH is washing its hands of, as to difficult,
    +=no savings?

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