Hāpai Te Hauora, the largest Māori public health collective in Aotearoa, outlines key priority areas it hopes to see for Budget 2020
- An increase in dedicated public health and disease prevention funding
- Funding to support groups who work within their communities in the areas of mental well-being, alcohol, drug, gambling and other addictions
- Provision of funding to ensure access to emergency housing for whānau in need
- Funding to support Māori responses to community well-being and mobilisation, including the provision of, and investment in, virtual engagement and communication tools and increased access health and safety provisions
- Dedicated research and evaluation allocation for Māori and Pacific community-led projects exploring wellbeing including individual, whānau and environmental sustainability initiatives
- Dedicated funding to organisations who are dependent on funding from harmful activities and commodities to sustain their business model
- Dedicated approaches to supporting economic sustainability and growth for Māori-owned and operated businesses
- Emphasis on funding for rehabilitation in the criminal justice system, especially culturally appropriate services for Māori
- Te Reo Māori made compulsory in all schools with an increase in funding of teaching resources in Te Reo Māori
- Access to comprehensive digital learning platforms and devices that enable learning in all places and spaces
- Equitable support for kohanga reo institutes with effective transition into ‘Ready for School programmes’
- Continued funding increases for Whānau Ora, reflecting the importance of by Māori for Māori approaches in determining hauora, which has been demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Selah Hart, CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora says "The timing of this year’s budget announcement during the Covid-19 pandemic should ensure public health issues are front and centre."
"We know that for many members of our communities, non-communicable disease affects them every single day, yet the level of investment and concerted effort to support sustained well-being falls short, especially for Māori, Pacific, and low socio-economic groups."
"We have seen the government demonstrate its commitment to public health through its response to Covid-19, we ask now that they continue that commitment by addressing our entrenched health inequities by putting the health dollar into the areas highlighted here, which we know will have the most positive and sustainable impact for whānau."