LEVIN FAMILY HEALTH - Open 1st August 2023


Gary says... Enhancing Māori & Pacifica Health in the Horowhenua District: Current Initiatives and Future Strategies

Gary say... the focus on Māori & Pacifica Health is imperative to ensuring we are all walking a safer and healthier pathway together

Māori Health is a critical issue within the Horowhenua district, as indigenous Māori and Pacifica communities often face disparities in health outcomes. Recognizing the significance of addressing these disparities, various initiatives have been implemented to improve Māori and Pacifica Health and wellbeing. Levin Family Health aims to examine the current efforts being undertaken to manage Māori and Pacifica Health within the Horowhenua district and explore potential strategies for further improvement.

Current Initiatives:

  1. Whanau Ora: The Whanau Ora approach focuses on holistic wellbeing, emphasizing the importance of family, community, and culture in improving Māori health. Through this initiative, Māori communities in Horowhenua are empowered to take control of their health and wellbeing, accessing a range of services and support networks.

  2. Māori Health Providers: The district has Māori health providers (Muaupoko & Raukawa) who offer culturally responsive healthcare services. These providers ensure that Māori communities receive care that respects their cultural values and addresses their specific health needs.

  3. Health Workforce Development: Efforts are underway to increase the number of Māori healthcare professionals in the district. This includes initiatives to recruit and support Māori individuals in pursuing careers in healthcare, thereby improving cultural competence and representation within the workforce. Levin Family Health agrees that this opportunity can only enhance the Māori working for Māori in healthcare development.

  4. Community Engagement: Collaborative partnerships between health organizations, iwi, and Māori communities are being fostered to ensure the delivery of culturally appropriate services. Community engagement initiatives focus on involving Māori in decision-making processes, promoting health education, and supporting community-led health initiatives.

Future Strategies:

  1. Cultural Safety Training: Increasing cultural safety training for healthcare providers can improve the quality of care provided to Māori. This training aims to raise awareness of cultural differences, biases, and provide strategies to deliver healthcare in a culturally safe and respectful manner.

  2. Targeted Prevention and Intervention Programs: Implementing targeted programs that address specific health issues prevalent in the Māori population, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mental health, can help reduce health disparities. These programs should incorporate Māori cultural practices, language, and involve community members in their development and implementation.

  3. Strengthening Collaboration: Building stronger partnerships between Māori health providers, mainstream health services, and community organizations can enhance coordination, information sharing, and improve health outcomes for Māori. This collaborative approach ensures a comprehensive and integrated healthcare system.

  4. Health Promotion and Education: Increasing efforts to promote health literacy and raise awareness about healthy lifestyles, disease prevention, and early intervention strategies can empower Māori communities to make informed decisions regarding their health.

Managing Māori and Pacifica Health within the Horowhenua district requires a multifaceted approach that recognizes the significance of culture, community engagement, and collaboration. The current initiatives, such as Whanau Ora, Māori and Pacifica Health providers, workforce development, and community engagement, provide a foundation for improvement. However, future strategies should focus on cultural safety training, targeted prevention programs, collaboration, and health promotion. By addressing these areas, the Horowhenua district can work towards reducing health disparities and improving the overall health and wellbeing of its Māori and Pacifica populations. Levin Family Health commits to being part of the Future Strategies of health promotion and collaboration.