Crown breaches Te Tiriti o Waitangi with passage of Bill to disestablish Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority under urgency

Te Puna Ora o Mataatua is disappointed in the circumvention of due process by the Government in relation to the disestablishment of Te Aka Whai Ora – the Māori Health Authority.

The Government, yesterday, passed a Bill under urgency to disestablish Te Aka Whai Ora. This is despite the Waitangi Tribunal setting down an urgent hearing scheduled to take place this week into Te Aka Whai Ora’s proposed disestablishment.

Last Friday the Tribunal suggested that the Government may consider deferring the introduction of the legislation until the week of 8 March 2024 to enable the Tribunal to hear the claims and urgently report.  The Government ignored this and continued to push on.

The Government’s actions, before the Tribunal has had a chance to consider the claims, means the Tribunal needed to stop its inquiry now and cannot consider the obvious issues before it was passed.

Dr Chris Tooley, CEO of Te Puna Ora o Mataatua, says “The Government’s action breaches the obligation of good faith, a principle of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the ability of Iwi/Māori to appear before the Tribunal to make their case. There has been no consultation, no inclusion of participation of Iwi/Māori in decisions being made about Te Aka Whai Ora”.

Te Puna Ora o Mataatua continues to be involved in the Waitangi Tribunal inquiry supporting the claimants, Lady Tureiti Moxon and Janice Kuka in their claims (through filing submissions and evidence).

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