Te Kāhui o Papaki Kā Tai – narrowing the gapTKP logo

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

 

life expectancy maori

Source figure: Ministry of Health

 

While the gap between Māori and non-Māori life expectancy is narrowing¹, there is still much work to be done.
This year showed a significant improvement in the number of B4 School checks for 4 year old Māori children in Canterbury. Health and well-being is promoted at the visit which helps to identify and address any health, behavioural, social, or developmental concerns that could affect a child’s ability to get the most benefit from school. This includes hearing problems or problems communicating.
Last year (2016/2017) 442 Māori children enrolled in Pegasus PHO affiliated practices attended checks (86%).
This year (2017/2018) 518 Māori children (91.8%) attended checks.
Mark Liddle, Pegasus Chief Operating Officer and attendee at Te Kāhui o Papaki Kā Tai meetings, says it is great to see initiatives coming to fruition.
“When we focus on Māori we can make a difference. The statistics show us that,” says Mark.
¹ The gap between Māori and non-Māori life expectancy at birth has narrowed to 7.1 years (average of male and female combined) in 2012–14. This compares with 8.2 years in 2005–07, 8.5 years in 2000–02, and 9.1 years in 1995–97. Lower death rates in the older ages (50–79 years) has contributed the most to the narrower gap between Māori and non-Māori life expectancy. 7 The gap between male Māori and non-Māori life expectancy has fluctuated from 8.8 years in 1995–97, to 8.2 years in 2000–02, to 8.6 years in 2005–07, but dropped to 7.3 years in 2012–14. In contrast, the gap between female Māori and non-Māori life expectancy has dropped from 9.3 years in 1995–97, to 8.8 years in 2000–02, to 7.9 years in 2005–07, and to 6.8 years in 2012–14.
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