Manawhenua Ki Waitaha (MKW) has the mandate of Papatipu Rūnanga and is supported by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (TRoNT) as the Ngāi Tahu representative body in Canterbury for health issues.
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The New Zealand Public Health & Disability Act 2000 requires District Health Boards (DHBs) to establish and maintain processes that enable Māori to participate in and contribute to strategies for Māori health improvement.
Although the legislative requirements are fairly permissive about what form these processes should take, many DHBs have formalised their relationship with local Iwi through an Iwi Relationship Board. This is the case for the Canterbury District Health Board.
Wendy Dallas-Katoa, Chair of Manawhenua Ki Waitaha, says this is why the group was established.
"The board was established to ensure that manawhenua have over sight and influence on the decision making of the Canterbury District Health Board," says Wendy.
"The membership of the Board is determined by local Papatipu Rūnanga and it is our job to ensure the DHB are effectively engaging with Māori and creating policies to reduce health inequalities for Māori," she says.
Within Canterbury, Manawhenua Ki Waitaha have been set up to represent the needs of local Māori.
Broadly speaking the aims of Manawhenua Ki Waitaha are to:
Work to improve health outcomes for Māori;
Shape DHB policy to better represent the needs of Māori;
Ensure the DHB are working to reduce health inequalities for Māori;
Advocate for greater health literacy;
Hold the District Health Board to account;
Co-ordinate scholarships for Māori and Pacific peoples.
Manawhenua Ki Waitaha works by engaging across all DHB groups, teams and statutory bodies by ensuring there is appropriate representation or reporting back from each group. Manawhenua Ki Waitaha also ensure local and Māori issues are always expressed to the DHB.
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