Government sat on vital DHB vaccine ‘equity plans’ for Māori and Pasifika

The Government has had week-by-week breakdowns of how many Covid vaccinations for Māori and Pasifika people each district health board said would deliver but has sat on the information for months, says National’s Covid Response spokesperson Chris Bishop.

“Today, in the interests of transparency, I am releasing the ‘Equity Production Plans’ for Covid vaccinations for each DHB from 11 July 2021-3 October 2021.

“The existence of these plans has only come to light because of an answer to a Parliamentary written question to me and then an Official Information Act request of the Ministry of Health.

“The Government insists on publishing the ‘rate Māori or Pacific People per population are being vaccinated compared with non-Māori non-Pacific’, rather than the raw numbers each DHB said to the Ministry they would achieve each week.

“It is clear this is an attempt to mask the Government’s incompetence at the vaccine rollout to Māori. The number of fully vaccinated eligible Māori is just 44.6 per cent, compared to a national rate of 65.9%.

“In February, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti wrote to Health Minister Andrew Little asking for financial support for Māori health providers in order to help them play an important role in the vaccine rollout.

“Now, here we are in October 2021, and Māori Labour Ministers blame Māori themselves for not being vaccinated, the Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust in Tairawhiti is fundraising for a mobile vaccination van, and the Waipareira Trust is taking the Ministry of Health to court in order to try and access vaccination data so they can go and find people and get them vaccinated.

“National says again: fund Whānau Ora and Māori health providers properly. Ensure they have access to data from DHBs and primary health organisations. Work with iwi and whānau. No more korero –  let’s see some action.”

You can read the Equity Production Plans Official Information Act (OIA) response here.