Hāpai Te Hauora, the largest Māori public health collective in Aotearoa, outlines key priority areas for Budget 2018 which we believe will have the biggest impact on whānau:

  • Provision for meeting urgent housing needs in Tāmaki Mākaurau and Te Tai Tokerau so all families have the ability to live in warm, dry homes
  • Funding to support papakainga housing in rural areas

  • Increased health spend with a focus on investment in primary and preventative healthcare to significantly reduce costs to various other expenditure lines by preventing illness and promoting wellness

  • Funding increases specifically for alcohol, drug and other addictions treatment and mental health services, coupled with research primarily focussed on Māori and Pacific to support best practice models of delivery.

  • 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

  • Support for kohanga reo and early childhood education services with effective transition into ‘Ready for School programmes’

  • Increase in funding for special education, in particular an increase in ORS funding so that our most vulnerable children are given the same opportunity as their peers to reach their full potential

  • Increase in funding for wrap around services that include building health and financial literacy within communities

  • Continued funding increases for Whānau Ora, reflecting the importance of by Māori for Māori approaches in determining hauora

"Public health is both the hardest and most rewarding area of the health system to work in," says Lance Norman, CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora. "It’s hard because the issues are complex and they’re huge, but rewarding because it’s where you can do the most good in terms of improving people’s holistic wellbeing and opportunities to succeed in life. We hope this government’s first budget will reflect their rhetoric around creating a better New Zealand for everyone, and that they will act boldly to make meaningful change."