A Critical Tiriti Analysis of Te Pae Tata: The Interim New Zealand Health Plan
The current health reforms in Aotearoa New Zealand are being described as “transformational”. Political leaders and Crown officials maintain the reforms embed a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, address racism and promote health equity. These claims are familiar and have been used to socialise previous health sector reforms.
This paper interrogates claims of engagement with Te Tiriti by undertaking a desktop critical Tiriti analysis (CTA) of Te Pae Tata: the Interim New Zealand Health Plan. CTA follows five stages from orientation, close reading, determination, strengthening practice, to the Māori final word. The determination was done individually and a consensus was negotiated from the indicators; silent, poor, fair, good, or excellent.
Te Pae Tata proactively engaged with Te Tiriti across the entirety of the plan. The authors assessed Te Tiriti elements of the preamble, kāwanatanga and tino rangatiratanga as “fair”, ōritetanga as “good” and wairuatanga as “poor”. Engaging more substantively with Te Tiriti requires the Crown to recognise that Māori never ceded sovereignty and treaty principles are not equivalent to the authoritative Māori text. Recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal WAI 2575 and Haumaru reports need to be explicitly addressed to allow monitoring of progress.