Can the Māori Health Authority really boost Māori life expectancy?

Graham Adams takes a look at the new Maori Health Authority and why its logic is flawed. This article is published on The Platform.

OPINION: The purpose of the new race-based agency is mostly to fulfill the radical co-governance aims outlined in He Puapua.

Patrick Gower asserted recently on Newshub Nation that the burning question David Seymour has to answer in opposing co-governance is:

Why if a Māori child is born, like in the house next door to me, do they live for seven years less than the child born in this [Pakeha] house?

Newshub’s high-profile national correspondent was undoubtedly referring to the claim that the Māori Health Authority will improve poor Māori health statistics, including life expectancy. 

It is due to swing into action on July 1, but both Seymour and Christopher Luxon have promised to abolish it if a National-Act government is elected next year.

Pointing at the house to his left, Gower announced his challenge to Seymour with an air of triumph — as if he had gone straight to the heart of the matter with a unique and devastating personal insight. 

In fact, setting up a new bureaucracy with the ultimate aim of closing a gap in life expectancy is quixotic, to say the least. A Māori Health Authority makes no more sense than seizing on the fact men die on average 3.5 years earlier than women and setting up a standalone Male Health Authority — with independent commissioning powers, its own budget and an effective right of veto over health plans for females — to improve the situation.

Who would imagine an autonomous “by men, for men” health agency would be the best answer to that particular difference in life expectancy? Read the rest of the article here.