NZ Herald nzherald.co.nz 28 Apr, 2021 20:30 am

Covid 19 coronavirus: Big Māori push for swabs pays off in Taranaki

Covid 19 coronavirus: Big Māori push for swabs pays off in Taranaki
Māori had the reach to get testing into Māori communities.

" Ngāti Ruanui leader Debbie Ngarewa Packer: "Nothing came easy." Photo / Supplied Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Ruahine and the health provider Tui Ora held clinics on their premises and temporary clinics in Pātea, Manāia, Ōpunakē, Waitara, Urenui and Waverley." But the co-leader of the Māori Party, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who was then the kaiarataki for Ngāti Ruanui said it was important to highlight that nothing Taranaki Māori did with the DHB went easy.Taranaki District Health Board chief advisor for Maori health, Ngawai Henare, said there was huge anxiety as Covid hit, given the devastating effect of the Spanish Flu epidemic on Māori in 1918.

Henare said the Ministry of Health took the DHB layer of bureaucracy away and funded the local providers directly, while the DHB relaxed its contractual expectations, creating a high level of trust.The DHB's Ngawai Henare said there had been gaps in communications in south Taranaki and some vulnerabilities in relationships between providers and iwi, and iwi and the DHB.

Read full story at nzherald.co.nz