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Working with us as a rongoā Māori practitioner

Find out how to register with ACC as a rongoā Māori practitioner, how we pay for rongoā Māori services, and how our clients can access these services.

We’re introducing a new range of kaupapa Māori services to ensure services that are by Māori, with Māori, and for Māori are available for injured New Zealanders.

This includes giving better access to rongoā Māori (traditional Māori healing). We do this as part of our commitment to improve options, care, experience and outcomes for Māori.

He ringa nā Rongo, he ringa nā te aroha.
The hands of peace are the hands of love.

This whakataukī is a taonga (treasure) gifted to us with great consideration by kaitito (composer) Turei Ormsby, ACC Cultural Capability Partner. It suggests that only good can come from the rongoā Māori pathway we’re taking.

How we define rongoā Māori

We recognise rongoā Māori as a kaupapa Māori service. It’s culturally grounded care that weaves tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori, te reo Māori, and te ao Māori through all aspects of the service.  We respect that these aspects embrace ngā kaupapa tuku iho (values gifted by tupuna Māori). So  we expect rongoā practitioners to whakapapa (affirm their connection) to ngā kaupapa tuku iho.

We're guided by the Waitangi Tribunal’s definition from the Ko Aotearoa Tēnei report to define rongoā Māori. This definition covers various traditional Māori healing methodologies, including:

  • mirimiri (bodywork)
  • whitiwhiti kōrero (support and advice)
  • karakia (prayer).

We acknowledge that these are only some methods of rongoā. We define rongoā Māori in the wider context of traditional Māori healing methodologies, which include but are not limited to the above techniques.

We don’t consider healing techniques from non-Māori cultural traditions, such as reiki or hyperbaric oxygen treatment, part of rongoā Māori. Even if they’re provided by Māori practitioners.

How our clients can use rongoā Māori

Clients with a covered injury can ask us to pay for rongoā Māori as part of their rehabilitation. They can request this through their ACC Recovery Partner or contact us:

Phone 0800 222 435, ext 12
Email assistedrecovery@acc.co.nz

We’ll talk to them about the need for rongoā Māori and the outcomes they hope to achieve. Clients don’t need a referral from a treatment provider, although clinicians may choose to support their request.

Currently, we can’t refer our clients for rongoā Māori services. If a client requests access to rongoā Māori, they need to tell us which practitioner they would like to see, and we must approve it before they can start with rongoā Māori rehabilitation.

How we pay for rongoā Māori

We’ve looked at our approach to kaupapa Māori and mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) to see how we can improve our services, and safeguard traditional Māori customs and practices.

Rongoā Māori falls under the social rehabilitation category

We pay for rongoā Māori under the social rehabilitation category. The Accident Compensation Act allows us to pay for a wide range of social rehabilitation services. These are separate from treatment. Social rehabilitation services aim to rehabilitate and improve the functional capability of our injured clients, to help them return to independence. Independence can include:

  • carrying out daily tasks
  • participating in education
  • contributing to whānau and community.

Only professions defined as treatment providers in the ACC Act can provide treatment. Where appropriate, we can consider rongoā Māori services as social rehabilitation. Rongoā Māori may be used in conjunction with treatment or other rehabilitation, depending on each client’s needs.

We’re changing our processes and developing guidance to help our people use the correct framework and make the right decisions about requests for rongoā Māori.

We’ve also launched a new service code (MTH10) which is specific to rongoā Māori. This code will help us track the social rehabilitation outcomes that clients achieve.

Paying rongoā Māori practitioners

We currently pay for rongoā Māori using one-off agreements, rather than through a contract. You must register with us as a vendor so that you can invoice us for approved services.

We’ll support the cost for rongoā Māori services. We expect you not to charge more than your normal rates. In some cases, we may pay part of the cost of rongoā Māori rehabilitation rather than paying the full amount.

The amount of rehabilitation we’ll approve is on a case-by-case basis, according to the client’s social rehabilitation needs. This depends on the complexity of their injury. For severe injuries, we may consider approving up to 16 hours of rongoā Māori. We’ll tell you and the client what we’ve approved in each case.

If a client initially requests a small number of sessions, they can request more if they need more rehabilitation.

How to work with us

There are currently no qualification requirements or contracts for rongoā Māori practitioners. We’re working on our governance processes and how we can contract with practitioners in the future.

All health and disability service providers in Aotearoa, including rongoā Māori practitioners, must follow the Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights code.

Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights

Register to work with us

You must register with us as a vendor if you want to provide rongoā Māori services to our clients.

When you register, let us know if you:

  • are a member of Te Kāhui Rongoā – a national body of rongoā practitioners
  • use the Ministry of Health's voluntary standards for rongoā Māori – the Tikanga ā-Rongoā
  • are endorsed by your tohunga (Māori knowledge expert) of rongoā Māori
  • are endorsed or supported by your whānau, hapū, iwi, or an urban Māori authority.

Ways to register:

Your application will be reviewed to validate your ability to deliver rongoā Māori, noting that we may audit registered vendors at any time.

You can contact us with questions about your registration:

Email registrations@acc.co.nz

Before you work with a client

We make decisions about funding requests for rongoā Māori on a case-by-case basis. So, please first confirm that the client you want to work with has a covered injury before you start to work with them.

You can confirm this by contacting us and making sure you have received a purchase order approval notice. This notice will confirm the number of sessions we’ve approved.

Email claims.docs@acc.co.nz

If a client wants to access rongoā Māori services before we accept their claim, they’ll have to pay for it themselves.

Providing the service

Currently, we can fund up to 16 hours. We expect that most clients will use fewer than six hours. Clients needing more sessions are likely to be those who have a long-term relationship with us.

In most cases, it’s best to start with a small number of sessions. Then talk with us and the client about their progress, and how rongoā Māori is helping them achieve their intended rehabilitation outcomes.

Once you have registered and provided a service, you can send your invoice to us:

Email aucklandinvoices@acc.co.nz

Information you must report as part of patient care

We need you to report information about the outcomes achieved from rongoā Māori. This will help us to build a clearer understanding of the value these services provide to our clients. If you don’t share the outcomes, our data will only show the cost of rongoā Māori, rather than the benefits.

If you’re a rongoā Māori practitioner working with ACC clients, please report regularly on:

  • clients’ progress towards their rehabilitation goals
  • any extra benefits or complexities you observe
  • the modalities or techniques you’ve used (eg mirimiri)
  • the number of sessions you’ve provided.

We’ll keep on working to improve Māori services

We’re developing new operational guidance to help our Recovery team members, formerly case managers, make accurate and consistent decisions about requests for rongoā Māori.

We’ve also established a Māori Health Services workstream with the aim to increase access and services for Māori clients. A key part of this mahi will involve working with rongoā Māori practitioners to learn from outcomes achieved from rongoā Māori and how to improve our approach to these services.

Contact us

If you have questions about rongoā Māori, complete the form below.

Request more information about rongoā Māori

Last published: 18 November 2020