Southern Cross Health Society today announced the establishment of a Māori governance advisory group in a first for New Zealand’s health insurance sector.
The Māori Advisory Governance Group will work alongside the leading health insurer with the goal of helping to improve health outcomes for Māori.
Chaired by Precious Clark, the eight-member body includes iwi leaders along with community and health sector representatives.
Chief Executive Nick Astwick said that as New Zealand’s largest health insurer, Southern Cross Health Society felt a responsibility to work with Māori and iwi to affect change.
“Southern Cross is deeply committed to empowering Kiwis to live their healthiest lives and the advisory group is vital to helping us achieve that. As the market leader in private healthcare, we have the opportunity to positively influence the ways in which care is delivered to New Zealanders.”
Chair Precious Clark said the formation of the advisory group represented a significant opportunity to work collaboratively to improve health outcomes across the nation.
“In order for our health system to be as responsive as it can be to the needs of Māori, it’s vital that it encompasses Māori modalities of care. It’s essential that Māori receive culturally appropriate and supportive care to ensure the best possible health outcomes.
“The formation of the advisory group is a pioneering step in the right direction towards Māori being confident that their particular health care needs are met and understood in both the public and private sectors.”
The group is part of a wider Southern Cross Health Society strategy focused on meeting Māori health needs.
Advisory group members are:
Precious Clark (chair)
Clark (Ngāti Whātua/Tainui) is the managing director of Maurea Consulting and the creator of cultural competency training programme, Te Kaa. She is the director of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa (the investment arm of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei), chair of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Taumata-ā-Iwi and sits on the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board. A trustee of Foundation North (formerly ASB Community Trust), Clark is a graduate of the Global Women Breakthrough Leaders programme.
Flavell (Waikato/Ngāpuhi/Ngāti Ruapani) is chief executive of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Inc, the iwi organisation for Waikato-Tainui. A director of Te Wai Maori Trust, Flavell has served on a number of government advisory groups and is currently chair of the Freshwater Iwi Advisors Group.
The manager of Population Health for Counties Manukau DHB, Hawke (Ngāpuhi) is mandated to eliminate indigenous and needs-based inequities.
Dr Ihirangi Heke
Heke (Tainui/Waikato) works with Māori and other indigenous groups to build health and wellness activities based on their own traditional environmental knowledge. His goal is to enable them to define and determine their own health pathways and solutions.
Dr Katrina Kirikino
Based in South Auckland, Kirikino (Ngāti Porou) is a GP with a passion for Māori and Pacific health. She has a particular interest in children’s and women’s health.
Dr Hana O’Regan
O’Regan (Kāi Tahu/Kāti Māmoe/Waitaha) is general manager of oranga/wellbeing for Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Her career has largely focused on Māori language revitalisation and Māori educational achievement.
Stafford (Ngāti Rārua/Ngāti Maniapoto/Ngāti Tama) is chair of the Ministry of Health’s cancer consumer group and director of equity at the National Telehealth Service. A cancer survivor, he is an expert advisor to the Māori Health Select Committee inquiry into the Cancer Continuum Inequities for Māori Enquiry.
Wilson (Ngāti Rangi) is president of the Māori Party and chair of Te Reo o Whanganui, a board focused on the revitalisation of the Whanganui dialect. He is managing director of Intugen Limited, a consultancy providing strategic and cultural advice, facilitation and consciousness coaching.