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Maori Authority call for overhaul of ACC – racism & has no place when it comes to trauma and health

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, wants to see a complete overhaul of ACC after reports emerged this morning of the agency showing biased against Maori, women and Pacific peoples. Tukaki has said ACC has been biased for some time and he himself is dealing with a significant and increasing number of cases being referred to the Authority whereby Maori feel discriminated against.

“The truth is this is not new and has been going for some years and it happens a multitude of ways. One example for Maori in particular is where they are sometimes treated as somehow trying to rort the system – in other words there appears to be this conscious “that Maori bloke is just like all the others” when assessing claims. The other is when diagnosis through medical misadventure comes into play and again what I would call the very conscious bias occurs of pretty much just not believing Maori making a claim” Tukaki said

“We then find our people attempting to navigate a system they just do not understand and is clearly not helping them – particularly during the claims and assessment process. And to be frank if we lose our people at the beginning of the process they are not going to see any light at the end of the tunnel – more to the point people are then going to fall between the cracks and that’s pretty much it” Tukaki said

“ACC has been too late at the jump when it comes ot engaging with Maori and Maori communities and I would argue strongly that they have little or no approach to partnering with Maori oganisations operating in the system such as Hauora. In actual fact I think the realty is they have next to no idea what they are doing – and that begins with ACC’s organisational culture” Tukaki said

“There does need to be a complete overhaul of the agency and to be frank if some of the senior leadership are jot up to the job then they know where the door is. Perpetuating grief and trauma in this country no matter who the individual is or their circumstances is in no way acceptable – and its about time ACC learnt that.

Tukaki will be writing to the Minster to seek a review of the organisations workforce and organisational culture and its engagement practices with Maori and Pasifka. Tukaki also wants engagement into claims made by women also assessed and has also indicted that a fit for purpose review might need to be on the books.


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