Te Tiriti o Waitangi / the Treaty of Waitangi

The importance of cultural identity, encompassing language, whānau, cultural principles, practices, and linkages to the land through genealogy, is paramount to how tāngata whaikaha Māori/disabled people live their day-to-day lives in Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Pākehā (New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016 to 2026). Ara Poutama Aotearoa has a Te Tiriti o Waitangi responsibility with its significant Māori population to play its part in addressing the inequity that Māori experience. This involves actively protecting the health and wellbeing of Māori under our management.

This Disability Action Plan is guided by several key strategic documents and Tribunal findings. The 2017 Waitangi Tribunal report Tū Mai te Rangi! described relevant Treaty obligations for Ara Poutama Aotearoa. These include ensuring the right of Māori to exercise their tino rangatiratanga, and ensuring Māori are actively involved in designing, developing, and implementing strategies that affect Māori. Where there is inequity for Māori, the Tribunal said that the Crown is obligated to put extra resources and effort to restore equity.

The findings of the Waitangi Tribunal, Hauora report on Stage One of the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry (2019) complement and overlap the recommendations Ara Poutama Aotearoa received in 2017. The Tribunal recommended that the health and disability system be guided by Māori self-determination in designing, delivering, and monitoring health and disability services. The Tribunal concluded that equity, active protection, options, and partnership were also essential for the delivery of health services.

Ara Poutama Aotearoa is committed to supporting the relationship between Māori and the Crown. Reflecting this, Ara Poutama Aotearoa will work with Māori at key levels of our business. We will seek to ensure mātauranga Māori is not misused or appropriated.