Election 2017 – The Māori Party’s Reply

Kia ora team,

Please see the Māori Party responses below:

1. What is your party’s vision for the mental health and wellbeing of all people in our country?

The Māori Party is committed to ensuring all people of New Zealand benefit from a loving, caring and supportive society. We want whānau to be the best they can be and be supported by an equitable, sustainable health system that accommodates their needs. Our vision is for oranga Māori, oranga Aotearoa.  Whānau is at the centre of everything we do, and whānau led solutions to maintaining their wellbeing is what Whānau Ora is all about.

2. How was this vision co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress?

The Māori Party constitutes its vision by encompassing the views and values of whānau for whom the party serves. Whanau Ora is born of the dreams and aspirations of our whānau, as it’s philosophy centres around the need for whānau to lead and drive solutions, rather than the state believing it knows best, and telling whānau what to do.  Given our approach, we are confident that our vision has been co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress.

3. What are the detailed policies your party has to implement this vision?

Our policies focus on putting the vibrant traditions of our people at the heart of our whānau. Our current policy manifesto emphasises:

  • Introducing a Cross-Government Accord (a ‘wellbeing framework’) to keep whānau free from all forms of violence; including physical, economic, sexual and racist including prevention of elder abuse and neglect
  • Inequality impact statement to be written into all new legislation including the likely impact on our children
  • Individualise the resource for Day Services so that families can plan better to meet the needs
  • Review the Health Act to ensure implementation of rongoa Māori
  • Review work conditions, pay and training opportunities for those working in elderly, disability and home care sector
  • Growing the reach and impact of Whānau Ora

4. How were these policies co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress?

These policies derive from kaupapa tuku iho values to provide for the well-being of all and are supported and enriched as we enact and demonstrate how we give life to kaupapa.  We know that the lived experiences of whānau who have experienced mental/emotional distress tell us that solutions lie in the hands of whānau, rather than with the State. Given our approach, we are confident that our vision has been co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress.

5. What is your party’s position on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to people with psychosocial disabilities?

The Māori Party advocate and promote full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and specifically have advocated for this unity and purpose.

This can be seen in our ability to:

  • Consistently work for unity among all people
  • Avoid taking decisions and approaches that lead to division and disharmony
  • Promote harmonious and cooperative relationships amongst all people
  • Promote nationhood based upon knowledge of a shared heritage and an understanding and celebration of cultural distinctiveness.

6. What are your party’s short, medium and long term targets for implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to people with psychosocial disabilities?

We look to developing the following areas:

  • Whānau Ora will be rolled out to more whānau
  • Investment in development pathways for the non-regulated workforce (community health workers)
  • Provide greater emphasis to the Enabling Good Lives Strategy introduced by Hon Dame Tariana Turia while she was Associate Minister, Disabilities
  • Review the work conditions, pay and training opportunities for those working in elderly, disability and home care sector
  • Establish a health workforce project for pay parity to retain Māori nurses in iwi projects

7. How were these targets co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of psychosocial disabilities?

Enabling Good Lives was co-designed with whānau with lived experiences of psychosocial disabilities, as was Whānau Ora.

8. What is your party’s understanding of the allocation of the current mental health budget?

While we acknowledge that mental health services in Aotearoa are under severe stress, we are pleased that the new budget for 2017 has set aside $100 million for a mental health social investment fund to trial new innovative approaches to those battling mental health and addiction issues. Because Māori are more vulnerable to some mental health issues, we are interested in seeing some of those funds equitably directed towards finding useful and culturally responsive help for our whānau.

Our commitment to reducing the health disparities for Māori is by increasing the number of Kaupapa Māori youth and whānau services that address addiction and mental health. The Māori Party have been successful in lobbying for an additional $8million over four years for Oranga Rangatahi, a suicide prevention initiative that has produced real, tangible results.

We will continue to build on the success of Whānau Ora, empowering whānau through community led developments and initiatives to assist them to deal with situations that impact on their overall wellbeing. To ensure better accessibility for our most vulnerable we want increased numbers of whānau ora navigators and a one stop shop Whānau Ora centre with 24 hour/7 days a week free medical services.

9. How will your party allocate the mental health budget in the short, medium and long term?

Mental health and addiction are complex issues that aren’t solved with one formula. The Māori Party will continue to be catalysts for change and will work collaboratively with our communities by lobbying for and supporting bills, budget and policies that assist in reducing the disparities in education, employment, and housing.

We want whānau and individuals to be supported by an equitable and sustainable health system that reflects their needs.

10. How was this allocation co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress?

These policies derive from kaupapa tuku iho values to provide for the well-being of all and are supported and enriched as we enact and demonstrate how we give life to kaupapa.  We know that the lived experiences of whānau who have experienced mental/emotional distress tell us that solutions lie in the hands of whānau, rather than with the State. Given our approach, we are confident that our vision has been co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress.

11. What are your party’s national mental health targets?

The current Māori Party national mental health targets include:

  • Getting health services to rural communities, taking health services to the people rather than getting people to the services is behind a $1 million pilot for a mobile health clinic to service remote rural communities
  • Tackling suicide prevention, establishing youth wellbeing centres which include a Rangatahi suicide prevention fund of $8 million that is rangatahi led to secure rangatahi futures
  • Enabling whānau to achieve their aspirations through Whanau Ora allowing whanau to shape their own futures. Securing $10 million in this year’s budget would enable 2500 whānau per year to be able to access the benefits of Whānau Ora

12. What is your party’s plan to measure these targets?

We have a plan to measures these targets through the integration of:

  • Protecting and revitalising our language and cultural history and traditions
  • Honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • Speaking with a strong independent and united voice
  • Achieving self-determination for whānau, hapū, Iwi and Māori communities
  • Upholding our commitment to social justice and protection of the environment

13. How were these targets and the measurement plan co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress?

Our policies derive from our kaupapa tuku iho values to provide for the wellbeing of all and are supported and enriched as we enact and demonstrate how we give life to kaupapa.  We know that the lived experiences of whānau who have experienced mental/emotional distress tell us that solutions lie in the hands of whānau, rather than with the State. Given our approach, we are confident that our vision has been co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress.

14. What is your party’s plan to evaluate the provision of mental health services?

The Māori Party supports an evaluative approach to the provision of mental health services.

15. How will this evaluation be co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress?

Our policies derive from kaupapa tuku iho values to provide for the well-being of all and are supported and enriched as we enact and demonstrate how we give life to kaupapa.  We know that the lived experiences of whānau who have experienced mental/emotional distress tell us that solutions lie in the hands of whānau, rather than with the State. Given our approach, we are confident that our vision has been co-designed with culturally diverse people with lived experience of mental/emotional distress.

16. What is your party’s position on Te Āiotanga: Report of the Confidential Forum for Former In-Patients of Psychiatric Hospitals?

Our greatest concern is the over-representation of Māori that have been admitted to Psychiatric Hospitals over the decades and the corresponding impact that admissions have had on whānau who have had negative experiences while in-patients.

17. What is your party’s position on an inquiry into the historic abuse of people in psychiatric institutions?

The Māori Party support an independent inquiry into the historic abuse of people in psychiatric institutions.

18. What is your party’s position on an inquiry into current abuse of people in mental health facilities?

The issue of abuse of people in mental health facilities have got to be dealt with. It is a systemic issue and the only way to bring about positive change is with a wide-reaching inquiry such as a Royal Commission of Inquiry. By not allowing an inquiry of this nature robs the victims of the chance to see justice served and this issue must be brought out into the light of day. Fundamentally, no one person deserves to suffer the way some people have in the past, least of all from the institution which had been entrusted with their care. The Māori Party firmly believe an independent inquiry will help begin the healing and reconciliation process much needed for victims and Aotearoa as a whole.

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