Mauri Ora Associates Final Report for Department of Labour 2010

Māori have the worst health outcomes of any group in New Zealand, and this is true for ACC-related services as well. There is a clear need to improve matters, but less clarity around the best way to achive this.

This project has identified 5 key expectations that Māori have of ACC:

  1. Fairness – the system must achieve fair outcomes for Māori and all New Zealanders
  2.  Choice – all choices must be fair and open
  3.  Improvement of services– disparities must be addressed within both the larger healthcare system and ACC
  4.  Kaupapa Māori – Māori world views and values must be included and respected in the design and delivery of ACC services
  5.  Consultation & communication – in the absence of genuine interaction and co-development, no changes to ACC will be successful.

This research examined the experiences and opinions of Māori claimants, levy payers, business people, and providers towards both the ACC Scheme and the ACC organisation. We were asked to construct a narrative about the Māori experience of ACC and to give an overall picture of how changes to the ACC Scheme could affect Māori. Views were solicited through individual interviews and small group discussions, and a small number of telephone interviews.

Evidence and data that informs this report is drawn from ACC and Department of Labour sources, from other New Zealand health sector reports and research, and from international experiences and outcomes for indigenous, vulnerable, and underserved populations.

There was strong support for the ACC scheme among the respondents, and a fair amount of discontent with the ACC organisation. With regards to a new system which incorporated competition or choices for participants, many were wary of any changes as they might yield new ways for Māori to fall through the cracks of the system. However, there was also a surprising amount of enthusiasm for such change. This enthusiasm was, however, almost universally predicated on the assumption that any new system would embody a Māori world view and avoid the mainstream attitudes and processes that were felt to pervade the current ACC.