BOPDHB launch Treaty position statement
An important milestone in the journey towards health equity for Maori and the fight against racism is how the launch of a joint Bay of Plenty District Health Board and BOP Maori Health Runanga Position Statement is being seen.
The Position Statement on Tiriti o Waitangi, Equity and Racism has been developed over the past nine months and was launched on Wednesday, May 19, at Whakatane Hospital.
“We are inspired by flourishing within Te Moana a Toi,” says BOPDHB board chair Sharon Shea.
“We are focused on achieving a Toi Ora system that is geared towards enabling whanau, hapu, and iwi to be self-determining.
“The launch of the position statement signals to our community and to our staff that we are committed to the journey towards Toi Ora. It also represents our Board's active commitment to its partnership with the Rananga and to our Iwi vision of Toi Ora,” she adds.
The Rananga, a representative body of the Bay of Plenty’s 18 iwi, chairperson Linda Steel welcomed the launch of the position statement.
“Equity is more than a word or an add-on at the end of a sentence as it represents the absence of the systemic, entrenched and pervasive inequities that some of us experience daily,” says Linda.
“As He Korowai Oranga states, health and wellbeing are influenced by the ‘collective’ as well as the individual and it is important to work with whanau in their social contexts not just with their physical symptoms.
“The position statement sends a strong message that nothing less will do, and the three key concepts set the foundation within the BOPDHB environs.”
The three concepts mentioned are outlined below:
• Toitu te Kupu - uphold our word as it pertains to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the aspirations of our Iwi expressed in Te Toi Ahorangi.
• Toitu te Mana - uphold the power, affirms He Pou Oranga and the sources of mana that lead to Toi Ora.
• Toitu te Ora - uphold our vision, guiding and driving a whole of system approach that enables flourishing throughout the life.
Sharon says that to be authentic Tiriti partners, to ensure Tangata Whenua rights to have equitable access, quality and experience of care, and to tackle racism required determination and focus these three key concepts were crucial.
Sharon adds that the intended positive outcomes embodied by the position statement would benefit all people in the Bay of Plenty not only Maori.
“As we move forward, new learnings about how to tackle equity as well as improved health status will lead to people being more able to participate in society through work, social or cultural activities,” she says.
The position statement outlines how the BOPDHB is making a stand to implement Te Tiriti o Waitangi Articles and Principles, work in partnership with stakeholders to improve health equity for Maori as tangata whenua, and eliminate all forms of racism in the Bay of Plenty health system.
It goes on to state that systemic failures to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, persistent inequities and racism is unfair, unjust, and in many cases, avoidable. It adds that inaction in regard to these obvious issues is unacceptable.