Hei Āhuru Mōwai was established in 2012.  The purpose of Hei Āhuru Mōwai is to ensure participation and engagement with Māori from policy development through to implementation across the cancer control continuum so that Māori experience best service for their cancer. Hei Āhuru Mōwai, Maori Cancer Leadership Aotearoa has emerged to provide indigenous centric guidance and support for New Zealand cancer policy decision makers. Founded on Te Tiriti o Waitangi framework, strengthened by indigenous clinical and academic rigor, energised and appraised by flax roots wisdom and clothed by traditional values and aspiration.


Māori cancer sector leadership at a national level is essential and is critical to setting the foundation for pae ora and improving Māori health outcomes into the future.[1]


Achievements thus far have been widespread and meaningful. Indigenous Māori cancer leaders are in critical decision making positions, enabling them to influence and guide change that will lead to better outcomes for Maori.


Examples of where Hei Āhuru Mōwai has had a clear impact:


             National Bowel Screening Programme –HAMO  identified that the introduction of bowel screening will be equity negative and addressed these concerns with the National Bowel Cancer Working Group. As a result the Bowel Screening Advisory Group held an equity workshop which has subsequently been followed with a NBSP sector workshop and agreement to implement Maori and Pacific national networks to ensure equity is addressed in the national roll out.


             National Tumour Standards –HAMO  identified equity gaps in the current national tumour standards and have partnered with the MoH to establish an equity review group to address equity in the core tumour standards, tumour specific standards and metrics


             Adolescent and Young Adult National Standards – the national AYA network approached HAMO to develop the equity and Maori Health requirements for the standards. HAMO discussed the value of enabling the AYA Network to have the skills and knowledge to work this up themselves. HAMO took a capacity building approach by providing advice and training to the Board and work group which has both influenced the development of the standards and their work programme and governance going forward.


            Psychological and Social Support Initiative National Evaluation – HAMO provided advice to the contractor, Sapere, on how to better frame up the evaluation to encompass accurate measure to inform equity and Maori health. HAMO are partnering with the Ministry lead to deliver training around equity and cultural competency to the regional leads  in Nov 2017 and national forum in 2018.


            Cancer Health Information Strategy – identified long standing issues with ethnicity collection and reporting and improving equity focussed reporting. HAMO have reinforced the importance of work occurring in this area at both the CHIS Governance Board and CPLB levels and is partnering with the Ministry to achieve this


Every New Zealander has a role in consciously improving our health systems, processes and care for Māori.


Let's put equity on every agenda, and by doing so we will improve health systems and care for all.


[1] Ministry of Health. 2014. The Guide to He Korowai Oranga:Māori Health Strategy 2014. Wellington: Ministry of Health.