Te Kāhui o Papaki Kā Tai – narrowing the gap
Te Kāhui o Papaki Kā Tai, a Canterbury-wide Māori health reference group of primary care organisations, clinicians, community organisations, Manawhenua ki Waitaha (local iwi representation), Māori community providers and the Canterbury District Health Board including Community and Public Health has been in operation since 2009.
The name, Te Kāhui o Papaki Kā Tai, refers to ‘the coming together of the seas’.
The group plays a lead role in Māori health improvement by influencing across the health system to achieve health equity for all Māori living in Canterbury. A review of relationships and the group’s position in the Canterbury Health System is currently underway.
This year Dr Ramon Pink stepped down as Chair after five years of leadership, and was acknowledged for his continued contribution to improving health outcomes for Māori. The group is now chaired by Karaitiana Tickell, Kaiwhakahaere/Chief Executive Officer of Purapura Whetu, a kaupapa Māori health, mental health and social services provider.
This year, Te Kāhui o Papaki Kā Tai is re-focusing its priority toward health service design and ensuring pro-equity for Māori. Some of the groups’ aims for the Canterbury health system include:
- Challenging institutional racism
- Building partnerships with Māori
- Promoting indigenous leadership
- Systematic monitoring and assessment of equity with quality data
- Equity-focused quality improvement with consequences for lack of progress
- Changing the workforce to promote equity
- Improving accessibility to healthcare
These objectives form the strategic plan to achieve the ultimate goal of closing the amenable mortality gap between Māori and non-Māori.
Statistics such as the gap in life expectancy between Māori and non-Māori (shown below) are being closely monitored and Pegasus Health is working hard to improve the situation.
Life expectancy at birth, by gender, Māori and non-Māori, 1951-2013