Te Whakaruruhau o Ngāti Whakaue have called for an apology and demanded the Hunga Manaaki programme be reinstated.
This follows a decision by the Lakes District Health Board last week to disband the Hunga Manaaki programme which provided advocacy and cultural support for Māori who presented to Rotorua Hospital.
Te Whakaruruhau o Ngāti Whakaue says it is utterly disappointed with the decision and held a hui at Te Papaiouru Marae on Sunday wtth 250 attendees.
Ngāti Whakaue says they are concerned at the lack of data informing the termination of the Hunga Manaaki service and the lack of evidence behind the proposed new service that is set to replace Hunga Manaaaki.
According to a statement issued by Lakes DHB last week, “The service will now be incorporated into a new expanded service, based on the Whānau Ora model, and will have a wider community focus instead of solely the hospital. The new service will provide navigation, care and support to Māori and their whānau using Lakes DHB hospital and mental health services.”
It goes on to say, “The Hunga Manaaki service is a valued service. However, the service is only hospital based, and the new service will have a wider community focus and support families when they are discharged from hospital and go home.”
However, Ngāti Whakaue has called into question the competency of senior management at Lakes DHB and say a number of resolutions were agreed upon at the hui held yesterday.
Te Whakaruruhau o Ngāti Whakaue says from the meeting they would like the following to happen:
- For an immediate national level apology for the way Hunga Manaaki have been treated,
- Demand that Hunga Manaaki be reinstated immediately,
- Seek an urgent meeting with the board to discuss the future of Hunga Manaaki,
- Expect an immediate improvement in the dialogue between lakes DHB and mana whenua, in line with the DHB’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi; and
- Look forward to the development of an Iwi governance structure within Lakes DHB that is truly representative of iwi and reflects the historic relationship between Rotorua Hospital and Ngāti Whakaue
The Lakes DHB is yet to respond to the calls made by Te Whakaruruhau o Ngāti Whakaue.
In their statement last week, “Lakes DHB is very concerned that iwi are unhappy about the decision, given that the decision was made with the very best of intentions, and as part of the DHB’s commitment to improving health equity.
"Set up 20 years ago, the Hunga Manaaki team’s role was to provide advocacy and cultural support for Maori during their time in hospital.”