ACC ready to listen on design of new kaupapa Māori health services

Kua rite te ACC ki te whakarongo ki ngā whakaritenga mō tētahi ratonga hauora Kaupapa Māori hou
Colleagues talking

We are committed to improving outcomes for our Māori clients and ensuring they get access to culturally and clinically appropriate health services.

ACC’s core purpose is injury prevention, care and recovery for everyone in New Zealand. We process some 2 million claims a year and approve about 97% of them. But our research shows Māori are more likely to sustain a serious, life-changing injury while facing barriers to accessing our support.

We are committed to improving outcomes for our Māori clients and ensuring they get access to culturally and clinically appropriate health services. We’re doing this through Whāia Te Tika (Pursue What is Right), our strategy to transform how we engage with Māori and improve outcomes when they are injured.

We’re now embarking on our biggest Māori stakeholder engagement in years. In partnership with Māori, we’re developing kaupapa Māori health services – to enable injured Māori to get greater access to services, improved experiences of ACC care and better health outcomes.

We are committed to developing new prevention approaches designed and delivered by Māori, for Māori.
- Emma Powell, Chief Customer Officer - ACC New Zealand

“We need to listen,” says Emma Powell, ACC’s Chief Customer Officer. “We recognise that within tikanga Māori, there exists the capacity for the creation of transformative programmes. We want to partner with kaupapa Māori providers to design health services that are both clinically and culturally appropriate within each rohe of Aotearoa.

“We are committed to developing new prevention approaches designed and delivered by Māori, for Māori, and are working on a specific Māori injury prevention investment portfolio,” she says.

Later this month we will open a tender on GETS, inviting kaupapa Māori providers to apply to be part of a panel to design services in the Tainui rohe (region). This process will be repeated across all rohe in Aotearoa New Zealand in coming years.

These services will be regionally based and designed by local Māori providers, iwi and whānau, to deliver to the needs of haukāinga (local people), and available to all ethnicities.

The first phase will focus on services to support ACC clients with complex and high-level needs (including serious injuries and sensitive claims). We’ll follow this with consideration of services for clients with other injury types. The aim is, over time, to create a solution with national reach.

We are also working to improve access to rongoā services that incorporate a holistic, kaupapa Māori approach to wellbeing that includes ā tinana (physical), ā wairua (spiritual), ā hinengaro (mental and emotional), and ā whānau (family and social) wellbeing.

We’re discussing and seeking feedback on our progress and plans today at Associate Minister Willie Jackson’s Māori engagement hui at Ngā Whare Waatea marae in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland). The hui is designed to explore the challenges and opportunities for Māori and ACC in working together to achieve the intentions of Whāia te Tika, and the action plan set at the previous hui in March 2020.

We’ll also provide a progress report on injury prevention initiatives including:

  • Establishing a Māori Injury Prevention Investments Portfolio
  • Ngā Tini Whetū: A whānau-centred early support prototype involving ACC, Te Puni Kōkiri and Oranga Tamariki, and the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency to develop a cross-agency, early support prototype for whānau Māori and their tamariki.
  • Tuārai Model Pilot Project: A 10-year partnering agreement between ACC and four Tairāwhiti Iwi providers and one Hapū provider to deliver a range of activities to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries for Māori in Te Tairāwhiti.
  • Oranga Whakapapa: A kaupapa Māori informed healthy consensual relationships initiative that aims to support whānau to protect their whakapapa through tapu-enriched and mana-enhanced relationships with others and te taiao (the environment).

Attending the hui are invited Māori providers, customers, and community leaders. The hui provides an opportunity to introduce Michelle Murray as ACC’s Tumu Pae Ora (Chief Māori and Equity Officer). We also acknowledge our new board member Bella Takiari-Brame, of Ngāti Maniapoto.

Māori account for 26% of ACC active sensitive claims (for mental injury suffered because of sexual abuse or sexual assault) and for 24% of our active serious injury claims despite representing 16.6% of New Zealand’s population. Overall, Māori are under-represented in making claims.

Last month, the Government acknowledged that the entire health and disability system has underperformed for Māori, announcing a new Māori Health Authority, funding for health services targeted at Māori (including kaupapa Māori services), and an explicit formal role for iwi in setting local health priorities through Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards.

“We acknowledge Māori have endured many years of frustration, and don’t just want more talk and no action or change,” says Eldon Paea, ACC’s Manager Māori Health (Health Partnerships). “We acknowledge we haven’t always got it right for injured Māori, and don’t have all the answers. We need to listen and partner with Māori to design services that are culturally and clinically appropriate.

"This is another step forward in our journey to partner with Māori for Māori."