"Ka whawhai tonu mātou. Ake! Ake! Ake!"
As a National Māori Organisation, we often are up close and personal, with the experiences of our people by our movements amongst whānau, hapū, Iwi, communities, health workforces, and across multiple layers of the health system. As many of you know, many of the whānau o Te Rau Matatini continue to have direct contact with clinical spaces, health services and community; which we believe is important to maintain relevancy to the needs of our people, of the health workforce, and various programmes.
We appreciate that we indeed are privileged, and of being in a position where examples and stories shared sadly reaffirm the inequities Māori are experiencing. We often hear about the struggles of Māori, be it in regard to unmet health needs or in the inability to have their cultural perspectives within powerful institutions like health services respected. For the majority, this is simply about RACISM, manifesting its insidious effect in many ways and most notably being provoked through western based perspectives, policies and practices that govern health service delivery. This is where Māori leadership, representation and voice remain important to shift the power imbalance.