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Dr Muriel Newman

Political Agenda Endangers Lives

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In New Zealand last year, Maori babies under 3 months old were five times more likely than others to be placed into state care. And, of the 6,429 children in state custody, 69 percent were Maori.

Some Maori luminaries claim this shocking state of affairs is because our child welfare system is racist. They self-servingly suggest the solution is the “Maori way”, which conveniently involves transferring to them the powers of the Ministry for Children – Oranga Tamariki – giving them control of child protection services.

To support their well-orchestrated political crusade to disestablish Oranga Tamariki and entrench race-based policies that would endanger children, the taxpayer-funded Waitangi Tribunal launched an urgent inquiry.

The Chair of the Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, claimed, “This Urgent Inquiry into Oranga Tamariki should be the final death knell to a Ministry that must shut down. Its systemic failure is inexplicable given it has continued without consequence spanning generations. Now is the hour for Maori to be enabled to take charge themselves, not a Government department… Maori are more than capable of supporting whanau to make any necessary changes to ensure that tamariki Maori flourish in their home environment.”

Yet these comments beg the question as to why Whanau Ora, with well over $100 million a year in taxpayer-funding, is not already supporting families with children at risk to keep them safe from harm, so State intervention is not needed. 

What those attacking the Ministry for Children are actually calling for, is the denial of the right of Maori children to have the same regulatory care and protection that exists for all other New Zealand children. By turning the responsibility for the protection of Maori children over to private Maori authorities, the government would in effect, be discharging itself of its responsibility for some of the country’s most vulnerable children.

That surely is not an option.

The ‘by Maori, for Maori, with Maori’ separatist “solution” that’s being proposed is sinister. It not only fails to address the real cause of the child abuse crisis, but it also fails to even acknowledge it. 

The real problem, of course, is not the government agency – nor institutional racism or colonisation. The real cause of the Maori child abuse crisis is family members threatening the safety of their children.

But finally, the code of silence that encircles that inconvenient truth has been broken by a Maori leader with the courage to speak out.

Tommy Wilson of Te Tuinga Whanau Services has explained that Oranga Tamariki is not to blame for children being taken from their homes – it is the families themselves that need to take responsibility and fix the harm being caused by their addiction to methamphetamine.

He says it is meth that is tearing families apart: “The taniwha, the elephant in the room for us is P – let’s start talking about what happens if you don’t uplift those children and that’s the other half of the conversation that’s not been had…

“We have sunglass Mondays here where mums are wearing sunglasses on a Monday because they’ve been beaten up on the weekend, that has nothing to do with tikanga or colonisation or what’s happened with them. It’s a lot to do with this insidious drug that is tearing families apart, and we aren’t equipped to handle it.”

With more than a tonne of methamphetamine now being consumed in New Zealand a year, it is a common factor in child uplifts. In a report published in June, Oranga Tamariki revealed that a third of babies in their care came from families with a meth history – and in 75 percent of those cases, it was the mother who was the user.

Meth use creates mood swings as well as erratic or aggressive behaviour, that can give rise to violence and sexual abuse against children. There’s often severe poverty as parents spend their money on P instead of on their family. As a result, children are neglected, while their parents are passed out on a high.

According to the Ministry for Children’s Chief Social Worker, Grant Bennett, “We’re certainly seeing a rise in addiction and the devastating impact of P and that’s reflected in our work and it’s now one of the primary reasons we become involved with whanau. We have children with broken femurs, with multiple fractures, we have children suffering serious neglect and some who have been sexually abused.”

The agency has revealed that the main reasons why babies under 30 days old are taken into State care are historical concerns about family violence, along with maternal alcohol and drug use. There are concerns that if cannabis use is legalised in October’s referendum, the situation will get worse.

Information collected by the New Zealand Police shows that the district with the highest rate of methamphetamine use is Northland, followed by Eastern, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Auckland, Central, Wellington, Tasman, Canterbury, and Southern. Estimates of use range from a high of 1,000 mg of meth per day per 1,000 people in Northland, to a low of 200 mg per day in Southern.

According to an analysis of the problem, meth use is higher in Whangarei than any other city or town in New Zealand. Furthermore, its estimated that ‘at least’ 20 percent of Kaikohe’s 4,000 residents are users, and that the situation is similar in Moerewa, Kawakawa, and most of Northland’s other small rural towns.

The effects of the drug on local communities is clearly visible to those who care to look.

But it seems that many Maori leaders don’t want to see – it’s much more convenient to attack the agency that is trying to save their children from harm.

So, the travesty continues – while P is devastating families and communities, so-called Maori leaders distract attention from real solutions by continuing to blame colonisation – someone else’s fault – rather than acknowledging the problem and addressing it.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, a former Manitoba Provincial Court Judge Brian Giesbrecht, witnessed first-hand the disastrous impact on children when Canada allowed tribal authorities to gain control of child protection services:

“Child welfare is among the most complicated and sensitive of all government social welfare functions, balancing as it does parents’ rights to raise their own children with society’s obligations to protect children at risk. This task is made all the more difficult by complicating factors such as poverty, unemployment, addiction and isolation – all of which are common on many First Nations reserves…

“If Canada truly wishes to reduce the number of Indigenous children in foster care – and all Canadians have a stake in this outcome − we must start by emphasizing the importance of sobriety, parental responsibility and family stability among all citizens…

“After more than 30 years on the bench, it was clear to me that governments and agencies have very little control over how parents actually care for their children, or the eventual outcomes. Child welfare workers, Indigenous or non-Indigenous, are all motivated by a deep desire to do what is best for children under their watch. If a child has become a permanent ward of the state, it is almost certain that his or her home life was thoroughly and irreparably dysfunctional. Accordingly, the only way to remedy the high number of native children in foster care is to tackle the root cases. Family dysfunction on reserves is not the fault of child welfare agencies. The blame lies with parents and their communities.”

These same principles apply in New Zealand.

One simple question that needs to be asked is why, once drug use has been identified as causing harm to a family on welfare, is money management not automatically applied?

Money management is a successful scheme used to help young parents on benefits live within their means, with regular bills automatically paid, a payment card for groceries and other essentials at approved stores, and a small amount of discretionary income for personal use.

If this programme was extended to include those on welfare with children who are struggling to meet their financial obligations, it would make it far more difficult for vulnerable parents to slip into a drug habit. And if they did, the problems would be identified earlier, with assistance and rehabilitation services available sooner. 

But tackling the root causes of child abuse also means discouraging sole parenthood and welfare dependency – two of the most serious risk factors for children – through effective welfare to work requirements.

Just as race-based policies are not the answer for reducing child abuse, nor are they the answer in any other area of government responsibility. Yet, with retaining the seven Maori seats at the 2020 election a priority for Labour, over the last three years racial privilege has been further entrenched.

One shocking development is that Maori patients are now being prioritised for health treatment in many parts of the country. Under the guise of reducing disparities, ethnic background is considered more important than clinical urgency. As a result, critical patients are being forced to wait, while Maori patients with less urgent needs, are given priority.

This racial travesty is in addition to the many administrative inefficiencies that currently exist within the health system. Improving disparities is not rocket science, but it does need District Health Board leaders to prioritise patients ahead of cultural and trade union interests.

There are some simple things DHBs could do to dramatically improve patient outcomes. More flexible working hours would enable surgeries and appointments to be held at times that suit patients, significantly assisting those who struggle to take time off work or find child-care.

Nor does it make sense to have expensive operating theatres sitting idle for more than 16 hours a day when hospital waiting lists are full of patients in urgent need of surgery.

Mobile clinics could also be used to take services directly into communities where health needs are high, but transport is lacking. 

So, although Labour seems intent on appeasing radicals to improve their re-election chances, DHBs should refuse to buy into the lie that good health is a race issue, and treat everyone equally regardless of ancestry.

The Maori Development Minister is also proposing  policies to help secure the Maori seats. She wants 16 percent of the government’s annual $40 billion spend on roads, housing and other goods and services to be allocated to Maori businesses. While Government tenders usually focus on value for taxpayers, Labour wants the procurement process to favour supporters.

That also seems to be the objective behind special treatment for Maori in the Government’s new home ownership scheme that makes use of shared ownership, rent to buy, or leasehold arrangements.

Directives have also been issued to reduce the over-representation of Maori within the criminal justice system by taking a ‘softer’ approach to Maori offending, the new public service legislation requires a “greater involvement of Maori in the public service”… and on and on it goes.

But race-based ‘solutions’ are not the answer to disadvantage in New Zealand.

It’s time that politics was removed from the problem and a common sense approach adopted that helps people to become independent – of State and tribal control. While that will be an anathema to those pushing their race-based and Marxist agendas, it would be the right thing to do.

As the Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman explained so brilliantly in his book Free to Choose: “A free society releases the energies and abilities of people to pursue their own objectives. It prevents some people from arbitrarily suppressing others. It does not prevent some people from achieving positions of privilege, but so long as freedom is maintained, it prevents those positions of privilege from becoming institutionalized… Freedom means diversity but also mobility. It preserves the opportunity for today’s disadvantaged to become tomorrows privileged and, in the process, enables everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life”.

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*Do you believe priority status on hospital waiting lists should be based on clinical needs or race?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


I bet Labour is all for Race based though and keeping the Maori seats. No doubt much more money is going to be thrown at more Maori items and we rush headlong in racial separatism. Jacinda’s lot need to go. Fraser
A no brainer JOHN
Another “woke” agenda being forced onto society. Rob
Race and clinical needs have no connection sick people are sick they must be treated equally not racially Vivian
This question should not even arise !!! Ronmac
Tribalism is tyranny. We need a major reset of our society where race-based laws and practices are forbidden so making us a modern country. Will National and Act do this when they are creating a new normal? It looks like a lot of this Maori mumbo-jumbo comes from First Nation societies in Canada where PM J. Trudeau is another Comrade for our Incredible Sulk PM of NZ. Monica
Getting sillier and sillier. Where will it end? Valerie
the colour of ones skin has nothing to do with medical needs Raewyn
A blatant Govt ploy to secure the Maori vote. Richard
Why should some races be given priority over others? This is promotion of apartheid! Laurie
Anything other than clinical need is an anachronism! J J
Apartheid policies are evil Ray
Clearly, any and all priorities for hospitals must be based on need, not colour of the skin! I find it offensive that it is being dished out dependent on ethnicity. Just shows how rife the corruption is Neil
It is unbelievable that this question should ever have been asked as Maori have so many privileges now that excuse others. Valerie
Clinical need is more important than skin colour Ross
We’ll be heading into dangerous ethical issues if race is prioritized over clinical needs. Craig
There is no balance when race becomes the critical measure. Many people of colour chose a lifestyle that is detrimental to their health, therefore their preferential treatment within the health system is likely to be abused if not wasted Ross
Attend any DHB. med centre in NZ these days.They are full of Immigrants who get priority over Kiwis who are always at the rear end of the queue! David
Always clinical, how could anyone doubt it? Diana
NZ is going down a disastrously racist slope, if no action is taken to reverse this country will become fatally divided. The Treaty of Waitangi has been so warped, its meaning so twisted that it has outlived its meaning and should be put to bed; along with the “Tribunal”. Graeme
The Ministry of Health has been taken over by political agenda, and needs a giant shake up, until then don’t hold out much hope for us middle class tax payers Geoff
Those people who are so keen on claiming the maori privilege let them prove by blood test that they are maori. If they are not more than 40% maori they are not entitled to special treatment of any kind. It is time for them to grow up and realise that this is New Zealand for all New Zealanders. Johan
Setting priority based on race rather than clinical needs is a totally racist policy and abhorrent. It is apartheid at its worst. Kerry
Your editorial provides a very pointed truth, on which media deliberately seem to fail to report, on the fear of being called racist. The solution would be to remodel the Privacy Act so that the media, DHB’s and welfare groups can disclose in the public interest, the reasons for their actions. Vic
Enough said, when does this madness stop? Audrey
Those who are in poorest health need priority, to lessen suffering and halt any further deterioration. That’s obvious and of course once again we state that making extra payments to Maoris just encourages them to say gimme, gimme more often. The need is to control what they are allowed to spend money on is quite simple with an allowance, (vouchers) for the supermarket, electricity and necessities and never pay them cash. As children they were never trained to budget and balance expenditure with income. No doubt Labour would regard that system as infringing human rights but it is the only way to train in money management no matter what the age of the recipient is. Chris
Race has no place in the decision making process Peter
This should not be a debate, the answer is obvious to all except those with a racial agenda. Aaron
Best for all regardless of race is the only choice David
This is one of the most important problems in the nation. We have local bodies doing all they can to have separatist Maori Seats on their councils and this without any consultation or ignoring the wishes of the majority of their citizens. WE NEED TO BE ONE PEOPLE AS WAS PROMOTED BY THE T.O.W. and some Orwellian form of equality where one section is more equal than others. There was NO partnership granted under the Treaty. The three tenets were the surrender of Sovereignty to the Crown, equal citizenship for all and property rights Nothing else. What is needed is another Don Brash Orewa speech Robin
Clinical Needs only. The PM should hang her head in shame for not calling this institutional racism out. Social unrest may be the end result of this mandate. Sam
This Labour Government is intent on dividing New Zealand on race issues. In my opinion Maori have far to much say now with Local and Central Government David
The health system is there for all. I want to raise the fact that we have a racially selected Rugby team. If we made it European only, we would be nationally pronounced racists. What is the difference please.? and lots of other scenarios. Claire
New Zealand – the new South Africa of the m70s luciane
who is the bloody idiot that has thought up that non brown skinned should be classed as non important health wise in this country, sorry I know its the money grabbing corrupt bit of brown hanging out of the backsides of the commie govt that is destroying this country. Richard
Of course it should be on clinical needs. Unfortunately the National Party opened the flood gates years ago. May pay to check your lease if you are leasehold or live near the seashore! Bruce
A person’s life and their ability to get urgent help means more than any other perceived need. To put Race Based needs above life saving requirements is absolutely ridiculous. Robyn
Another slide down the slippery slope………. E
Absolutely Alan
We are meant to be NZers regardless and health services must be based on needs Colleen
No brainer. Lee
Heath is the issue, not ethnicity. Catherine
It’s appalling that this question even needs to be asked. Stan
should a maori waiting for a bunion removal operation take precedence over a non-maori’s prostate removal ? – NO Should a non-maori’s broken leg be attended to before a maori child who’s drunk a poison? – NO. Obviously the most essential or life threatening incident, whether accidental or long planned MUST take priority. alan
Had enough of that the issues facing Maori are as a result of colonization. None of these idiots were colonized, most have more European blood than Maori. Personal choices are to blame. Gee there are obese people of other races!! Is colonization to blame for that too?? Should they then have the same status as Maori. Best of all Maori colonized New Zealand just before the Europeans David
Jacinda will stop at nothing, such is her need for adoration. It would be really good if she could also stop pronouncing T as D. After a few of those, I just stop listening. She is under educated and under experienced to lead grown ups; let alone intelligent adults. She is an insult to adulthood. LUKE
Clinical needs is the only metric that should be used to select patients for treatment, any other choice by its very nature is State Sponsored Racism and putting left wing identity politics politics ahead of a democratic society for all New Zealanders John
Everybody is equal. Jen
no brainer Francis
everybody should be equal Jamie
Here we go again. THE SO CALLED UNDERPRIVILEGE are just bonelacy to do anyfhing but bold out their hands for a corrupt goverment to ply with money John
Drug taking at all levels is the root of much evil. Ian
Maori have the same access to hospitals as any one else Stan
What’s the point? This country only gets worse with the PC agenda advancing. Chris
disgraceful!!! john
Lets see what the election brings forth Warren
No brainer Paul
This is hospital treatment we are talking about. Hospital treatment is related to clinical needs. Race should have nothing to do with how urgent the clinical need is. Paloma
All lives matter Murray
Frankly, it is preposterous that we take a poll on something like this. It is unthinkable that it would be anything else but clinical need! The future looks grim. Peter
Race should not even appear. But it seems the direction this Labour Government on RACE IS WRONG. Carl
To many people with agendas are pushing their ideologies which is not what a great percentage of us New Zealanders think & know Tony
I despair. When will we get politicians who don’t cave to pressure from these gimme gimme racist so called elite. Time for all these sick part Maori to take responsibility for their health but if a problem healthwise arises, they should just get in line and wait for their turn. Just pure racism! Carolyn
This country is heading to hell in a handbag going down this route and it get worse daily. Don Brash was 100% correct. Tony
This race based proposal is utterly non sensical and further divisive. Many Maori are not in favour. So it is not necessarily a vote buyer as it is clearly a political move Deborah
It’s so very sad that we even have to ask that question. But that’s where this country has got to. Tania
it is not worthy of an explanation william
we are one people, race shouldn’t be brought into it. Marcel
In the large Maori population areas ( Northland Eastcoast,) and I believe a couple of others,Maori have had free health and dental care for years, with no better outcomes. Allan
Clinical needs of course, but we won’t get it, governments particularly this one have been giving Maori extras for decades and I can’t see it changing unless we finally get rid of the racist Maori seats where their min influence comes from. Eric
I’m sick of what I call reverse racism in N.Z. I feel that I am the new underprivileged as a white N.Z. male. No one represents a retired white mail in N.Z. I feel that I should be apologising for being a white male. Denis
Yes and yes again. I am waiting Laurel
NZ belongs to all New Zealanders regardless of race or creed. Kath
Absolutely! Martin
In giving aid to accident patients one does not render it on the basis of ethnicity but of need. Bryan
This is a no-brainer. Robert
Obviously. All human beings function with the same phsyiological processes. Race changes nothing. Christopher
Obviously race is a non-starter, but there should be other considerations too. There’s things the health care system can do for you and things you can do for yourself. Both are essential and the extent of self care should be one consideration. Another is share of resources. If you land in A&E because you chose not to take prescribed medication, you might be using more than your fair share. There are probably also many other considerations, so a points system might be an idea. Iasn
I have been subjected to racist behavior at Middlemore hospital when my partner was told I could not be put in a quiet room because it MIGHT be needed for a Maori Man. Middlemore management refused to acknowledge my complaint and now the board rep from our area is saying racist priority is needed Arthur
It is about time that New Zealand started to become united rather than continue down a path of separatism and division. It is an outrage that race relations in our Country have become a political football played with by activists who claim Maori as their heritage and endeavour to gain dominance in the management of our nation, and political parties that look to maintain and attract race-based seats to their political dogma and influence. Surely, as individuals we are able to recognise and unstandardised the principles of triage that says those persons who require medical attention, get that attention based upon the priority the demands of their clinical needs – NOT THEIR PROCLAIMED ETHNIC ORIGINS. Shame on all DHB’s that have adopted this policy, and a plague of all political parties that promote such policies. We know that in the last three years we have moved further away from being a true democracy than we have ever seen. Whilst the Greens and the Labour Party have almost made an art-form of the formulation and promotion of such policies, the National Party under the influence of Sir John Key, the Honorable Mr Finlayson, and the Hon Dr Nick Smith also played a significant part to get us to where we are today. A Plague on all their houses – it is certainly time for them all to change Michael
I thought the big debate at the moment is about abolishing racism. Why then is one race singled out as requiring priority over another. Sounds hipocritical. Trevor
Otherwise it becomes simple racism Mark
If being a “team of five million” is more than just a catch-phrase surely we should all have equal access to hospital waiting lists. To give one section of the population priority because of their descent is straight, intentional racism, and is further dividing our country. Of course Labour is consciously giving priority, and heaps of money, to Maori in its overt attempt to retain the Maori seats and “power”. Laurence
I can not believe that is happening in NZ hospitals. Surely the needs of the sickest patients must be the priority over racial priority. N Z is heading down a very slippery slope. Maoridom have to look and scrutinize their culture very hard and decide what is appropriate for modern day times, what is relevant to them coming into the 21st century and prospering like the rest of us. Their culture is the cause of why they are at the bottom of the heap. Stop dragging us down to their level. Peter
Definitely not RACE priority PHIL
It must be common sense surely or is the government really Racist Brianb
Common National, this needs to be brought into the spotlight, once it has people will see the true Labour objectives! Steve
I don’t support racism Peter
The problem is that there are no more full blooded Maories left in New Zealand and we are now being conned by plastic Maoris Les
Of course. Based on race really is a step too far. Go Tommy Wilson. Finally an honest Maori willing to speak out. Sadly far too many children are being born with addled brains already, thanks to mother’s drug habit. These women often have several children who are never properly cared for creating future problems for themselves and society. Juliet
Clinical needs are the only way to go. Those promoting other methods are living in a dangerous Dream Land. Brian
It is evident that we are heading inexorably towards reverse racism and the proponents for this cheerfully demand support from the taxpayer for their endeavours. Absolutely obscene. Bruce
Clinical needs of course. And while we are at it, hospitals should not be a place where entire families can take over wards and waiting rooms like sea gulls round a garbage heap. Unkempt, grubby gaggles of children and flocks of obese, waddling adults, contaminating every surface with god knows what, should be banned forth with. Maximum of 2 visitors per patient in ordinary wards and 1 in ICU with visiting hours carefully managed. Hospital is a place for the unwell and convalescent. It is not a drop in centre or social club and it is definitely not a place for racial preference. Dianna
Time to apply the law and health equally to all NZ’ers. Rod
Maori must take personal responsibility for their own health first. Smoking, obesity lack of exercise and poor food choice Jeff
I am thoroughly sick of Maori groups claiming privilege and priority based on race, Allocation of funds and services should be colour blind. I say both major Parties have been pandering to vested interest groups for far too long, Denis
Apartheid is a word that comes to mind. Divide & conquer, also rings a bell. Descendants of Maori who blame colonialism for everything, have to be told, & then reminded repeatably, that number one; there were no operation clinics or hospitals, to save their miserable lives, prior to colonialism. They would be lucky to live beyond 45yrs. In fact, those who scream the loudest now, are usually at least 50per-cent Pakeha blood, so in reality, they would not exist at all.. Why do ‘new’ immigrants who decide to live in New Zealand, generally succeed & prosper? The answer is, of course, they take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, & work very hard. Why do so many descendants of Maori fail miserably? Successive governments have encouraged free hand-outs, & State reliance, fuelled by many jobs that Maori enjoyed doing, now being moved to Asia, just to deliver huge profits for the multi national corporations who now own, what were once family businesses. What a ‘wonderful’ achievement signing The United Nations Declaration of The Rights of Indigenous People was… A.G.R.
ALWAYS HEALTH COMES BEFORE ETHNICITY. Maori have more privileges already than non-Maori but they always need more to be satisfied and claim we are racist if we object. New Zealand’s most racist group is without doubt Maori. They are actually a group NZ can ill afford. The costs of prison confinement alone are horrific – but., of course, it is all our fault. Garry
By using race instead of clinical needs would indeed be racist in itself. Alan
Absolutely. Norm
obvious david
65 years ago I trained as a Registered Nurse inNew Zealand. I cannot tell you how shocked I am to see your question for the Weekly Poll today. NEVER, NEVER in all my years in RN training in NZ, and subsequently in the UK as a midwife, have I ever heard or thought of priortising patients on any basis other than their need for clinical care. Where did this dam’fool idea come from? I do admit that in some countries it has been necessary to find an interpreter so the local word for PUSH NOW can be mutually understood. But that’s about as far as we went in racial discrimination… Find me an Interpeter, please!!! We thought nothing of that. Some of the perpetrators of this sort of populist garbage need to get out of their crazy little coccoons and get out into the real world to see how ethically and fundamentally wrong your ideas are. We’e not going forward in the 21srt century if ideas like this can even be considered…going backwards down hill on skateboard? Oh do wake up to yourselves! What, and why, are you trying to destroy????????? Treat everyman the same. Be thankful that you can. mabel
Definitely clinical needs Carl
With marriage between Maori and other races ,how do you determine Maori from non Maori. Does the DHB do genetic testing genetic ? Phil
Anything other than clinical need determining hospital admission is unacceptable in New Zealand or anywhere else. John
N Z getting a sick place to be because of some dumb people in the wrong positions Mike
No question. What is racial preference if it isn’t acute racism bob
I can hardly believe the question being asked, whether priority on hospital waiting lists should be based on clinical needs or race. What the heck has our country come to? If the Labour government plugged for that then the Labour government must go forever. Rob
Essential should be based on clinical need. Helen
Unbelievable but true! Dick
Any decision based on race is an abomination making this country as bad as the South African aparthied system Evan
Maybe we need to establish a separate hospital system for GP referrals, Private Medical Insurance Referrals and clinical Specialist Patients to effect prompt and efficient scheduling of General and elective Care, whilst maintaining a Separate System for Emergency Care, Paramedic and Ambulance referrals, Police custody examinations and Epidemic management. One of our problems appears to be an overlap of preventable crisis ie Drunk driving, drug overdose, avoidable accidents, et al impacting on time and resources causing the normal scheduled patient care to be delayed, deferred unreasonably in some cases postponed causing unacceptable additional harm even death. Taxpayers who support the system are entitled to reasonable non crisis access, whilst those involved in crisis or accident referral need to have insurance or alternately await availability of resources. Richard
What has happened to this country and its citizens? Roy
I thought that was so!!! Isa
I wonder what these clowns will come up with after all this separatist bullshit has run its course. The country will never be united ’til the TOW gets dumped in the garbage bin where it belongs. Barry
The Maoris have far too much to say in this country. When will get MPs with a backbone in this country tell the Maoris to stop wanting everything for themselves. Maoris are now the racists and Kiwis are treated as the underdog. Dawson
Clinical needs of course to all in need.race based anything is a disaster for any country, will produce anguish and hatred as we now see in nz.. James
It is iniquitous and racist in the extreme to consider race as a criteria for access to medical management. Paul
Why would race determine your place on any list. Your place on a list should be actual needs based, not based on what ethnic group you belong to. Pieter
one law for all chris
Most definitely clinical needs. It’s a sad reflection on the muddled agendized thinking that’s given ‘air’ time in NZ. george
Treasonous Jacinda Ardern has once again shown her true Marxist colours. Rossco
No question. Needs first. Sheila
What a stupid question. What moron would suggest anything else sheryl
Any measure other than clinical urgency is clearly unacceptable . Mike
I always thought we were ll equal in New Zealand and race based things are an anathema Elsa
The maoris talk about “colonisation”. If it wasn’t for Captain Cook, the maoris would have eaten themselves out of extiniction. What the government MUST do is have the elitest maoris distribute the $50 billion, that is sitting in their banks, that ALL NZer’s have contributed to, be handed out to desperate Maoris. It is the elite maoris creating this problem by bleeding dry the NZ tax payer. Maori’s created the drug distribution of “P”, let them fix the problem…they have the money, and they are now creating “RACISM” in NZ. ROD
ANYTHING done by race, is RACIST. This is yet another example of Labour pandering to Maori, for Maori votes. Marshall
Just another ploy to separate the races and to create division among Kiwis David
Jacinda Ardern speaks of the team of five million in New Zealand. Is she wrong? According to this article she should be saying the 17% privileged and the 83% others when she is talking about our population. Something is badly wrong with this century as I am sure it is going to hell in a hand cart. Why cant we all work together. Dennis
A no brainer Gail
It’s self evident Graeme
Shocking they are even dreaming about race based waiting lists Tony
Provide medical treatment to those that need it !! Pierre
Clinical needs should always be first regardless of culture Merv
We need to remove apartheid in NZ, not introduce more Tom
I agree that Maori separatism is sinister and should be discouraged firmly Harvey
current system is very racist. norman
We are heading down a dangerous road, race based policies equal apartheid. Adele
No way should it be race based. Unbelievable! It reeks of reverse apartheid and I’m Pasifika. Walnetta
The Labour Party didn’t campaign very loudly in 2017 on their proposed Crown sovereignty Partnership with Iwi but there was enough to warn us of the direction of travel. This is happening quietly without much media attention. I note that local Iwi are now referred to as the Crown’s Regional Partners. No surprise that there is now talk of a separate DHB and priority on waiting lists. Phillip
It doesn’t matter what we do for the Maori race they’ll never be satisfied, and will want more, like the spoilt brats they have become. Considering there are no true Maori in NZ this nonsense, should be knocked on the head. The sooner Maori are expected to behave in the normal manner the better. Merryl
What else??? Chris
Where’s the obvious other option. Financial means Mervyn
apartheid, racial privilege – the same concept, away with it! neville
Why aren’t the Treaty $’s being spent on maori needs and not just being used to fill the pockets of those at the top of maoridom? Maurice
The needs of the patient MUST come first Garth
I am told racism is not a positive trait to have in todays world so why does the government support it in so many ways. Kirke
We are one nation and all lives matter no matter the ethnic nationality. Maori need to look at the problem that is steering them in the face “P”. It is about time the respective Maori Iwi’s faced up to the truth and stopped blaming colonization as an excuse. Wayne
anything else is racist. steven
Since when did colour, or creed, become a factor in determining the urgency in any medical condition? Brian
the only way to go John
Anything else is just warped politics for political advantage. I am not fooled and the sooner this looney mob are booted out the better Don
What about the Drs. signing the Hippocratic Oath Code of Medical Ethics?Surely this race-based option would go right against this principle? Sylvia
No comment needed Jurgen
It is patently obvious that equality is the main aim not race. Race is becoming too big a challenge. June
Race should not enter into it. However, as they say “pigs might fly Richard
Welcome to apartheid NZ. Maori are winning their determined efforts to rule all people in NZ Darryl
All NZers are equal for health care this is outrageous Alan
Who are Maori? Are we faced with cunning pakeha who have a little bit of Maori!? Brian
Most definitely not race. It’s long overdue for us all to be treated the same with nothing whatsoever given out based on race. All clinical/hospital needs should be based solely on need. Helen
It’s just slipping further and further. Andrew
Keep up the good work Barras
Every one is equal Dave
This Labour and Green-led race-based campaign is poisoning any desire for harmonious race relationships in this country. Gavin
This is just another example of the growing racial divide in our country. Hugh
Racism at its finest by deliberately giving priority to Maori whatever their medical condition requires. As long as we have this current Government this type of Racism will only increase. It’s called VOTE buying !! Geoff
This RACE PRIVILAGE is OUT OF CONTROL and its thanks to LABOUR.Anyone who needs an operation should have one it doesn’t matter what race they are.ARE,NT WE ALL SUPPOSED TO BE EQUAL, I,v heard nothing from Judith that’s why I,m voting ACT who has had the GUTS to point out WE ARE ALL EQUAL. Cindy
Any country where it is felt necessary to even ask this question is a long way down the road to becoming a failed state. It seems that we are on that road and if we do not soon take action at the ballot box, and elsewhere, we WILL fail. TOBY
Thats obvious, fixing the health problem is the priority of medical centres. Race should not be brought into it at all. We all have needs Mike
Obviously Mark
Of course it clinical needs. This give-give-give to Maori, needs to be cease. Had a guts full. Is this government really so thick that it cant see the problems it has created by giving in to every maori demand and allowing maoris commit crime of all types to go, not only unpunished, BUT basically rewarded. Enough is enough! Des
Does it need comment? Bruce
for sure clinical Eric
racism is coming in every where in every  field. I say no to any racist preference . Anthony
If you think otherwise, you have your head in the sand and as such are not a true citizen of this country.All citizens of New Zealand have equal rights Tom
Clinical needs first and foremost, That’s what hospitals are for! Assisting injured and sick people – no matter what race they belong to. Diana
Why should it be on any other basis? This nonsense must stop. chris
Very easy to answer this one. Were the issue for non Maori to have priority over Maori, then the answer is clear as well. Vernon
This is more racist propaganda Gareth
How could it be based on anything else??? David
There is no place for Race based polices of any kind in a democratic country. Separitism is a form of racism, and is never to be tolerated. gale
All human bodies are designed the same, conceived the same way, and die the same way. Hospital surgical waiting lists should be compiled on medical need. Maori leadership need to come out of their raupo hut and look at what their colleagues are/ are not doing within their communities; and then provide some real leadership not continual ‘envy and colonialism drivel’ Bob
The alternative enhances the advance of separatism, which is becoming evident daily. Graham
We are all belonging to the human race and we must not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity or skin colour. Ray
Basing it on race is absolutely disgusting and obviously racist! Brenda
The govt need to be sacked. Kevin
politicians appear to be afraid to speak out on race based issues. When one does they will gain a lot of support. Martyn
Of course if priorities are based on a person having maori heritage, then the simple answer is for everyone to be a maori. Imagine the authorities trying to sort that one out! Alan
New Zealand used to pride itself on providing equal opportunities for all. This is now not the case – they are now provided on the colour of your skin – racial inequality. All lives matter. I realise we had to address previous longstanding issues – I think we have gone too far – we need to get the balance right. Tony
A stupid question, and should not need to be considered based on “common sense” David
Chris Hopkins says the new initiative makes things more equitable for Maori. When were they inequitable given that Maori make up 15% of the population and are the biggest s recipients of welfare in everything? Max
Race doesn’t come into it Kerin
No question about it! Linda
Who is a Maori anyway? Florence
How you get this across to the Govt I really don’t know Andrew
The need for treatment must be the priority. How will racial decisions be made? Will it be on skin colour? I know people who are of Maori decent but are quite pale. Will they have to produce their whakapapa? Bronwyn
Cant believe it’s even a question. Kevin
Race should never be a factor. We are all one people. Don
Surely too obvious even to the most misguided promoter of Maori privilege Frank
Basic human right Terry
We must push back and vocalise our dissent of all this maori emphasis Bev
Clinical needs must come first in all cases. Frank
Another ghastly step down a separatist road that we seem to be treading. Long past time we renounced all of that crap and unified. Roger
why not? what has race got to do with how sick you are. Erin
IF health care priority was based on race, who would decide on the race that has that priority? We are entering into a very dangerous social strata similar to that of the riotous states within the US. Furtive grounds pushed by racial activists to disrupt ‘We are one New Zealand’ in pursuit of their widespread social disconnect. Stuart
When I have worked and paid my tax my entire life I expect that should I need some kind of clinical care it will be readily available to me as a New Zealander. I have taken care of my health, worked hard and not received or required any Govt assistance thus far. Healthcare is my birthright, the colour of my skin or my tribal affiliation is irrelevant. I am a European NZ citizen not a pakeha! Anon
Wonder when the Sheeple are going to wake up? Perhaps once it’s too late. Paul
No comment necessary Tony
Also to be considered should be the effort and contribution both past and future for the benefit of us all. Michael
Definitely should Graeme
No brainer !! Andrew
But are not these “Surveys” equivalent to ‘preaching to the converted’? People with other views are unlikely to read NZCPR Geoffrey
We are all equal, would%u2019t that be a refreshing attitude? Helen
If a specific race has peculiar health issues them more resources at the hospital may be appropriate, but not the waiting list priority. The real issue however is surely better primary health care so that hospitalisation is less likely. – stopping smoking, better eating, more exercise etc. Easier access to GPs would be important (even thought that population is decreasing) decreasing), who could be replaced by pharmacists having greater service provision. Paul
What happened to the team of 5 million !!!!!. Warwick
Why do certain elements in NZ insist on APARTHEID. Geoff
This policy would take more lives than COVID. Martin
Sadly we are rapidly heading over the cliff for a political agenda that is divisive John
I would have thought anything other than a clinical basis would go contrary to the oath clinicians take. Kevin
It’s rather obvious. Racism has no place in our society. Richard
How can doctors & nurses ethically agree to this? Heather
Perhaps the answer to this evolving crisis is to recognize it as a class not racial situation… Mark
Maori are trying to bring race into everything Kevin
Just so obvious. Mike
It is the worst kind of racism to give preference for treatment to any New Zealanders on the basis of their ethnicity. Terry
Maori need to stop pulling out the colonialisation spin and step up. I am Maori descent and their behaviour is apalling. Mike
Reverse racism such as this is TOTALLY wrong and must be stopped. Just another of Comrade Jacinda’s ploys to retain the maori votes. STOP it NOW. Brian Walker Brian
The whole thing is getting out hand I’ve seen several people die because of delayed operations Peter
It’s the only logical way. Jamie
Logic tells you this! John
Unbelievable that this is currently in action . Absolute disgusting evil racism. Greg
It’s a nonsense that the question even needed to be asked – there’s not even the slightest rational comparison between the two. Clinical needs supersede all other considerations. JIm
Obvious Graeme
The relentless drive for control exerted by Maori radicals will not end. That ship has sailed long ago when there was still time to do something about it. Re. child abuse etc: Maori leaders do not give a toss about them kids or their parents for starters. They have feathered their nests and that is what they want and more. The Maori criminal gangs are making hundreds of millions by selling P and other drugs and hereby actively contributing to destroying society. And our so called political leaders are pandering to political correctness etc like there is no tomorrow. They have betrayed all ethics and moral values long ago. ( because they have none for starters.} Folks—– all this happening here in NZ is just a small mirror of what is going on worldwide. End times have arrived and the world as we know it is falling apart. Michael
I am of opinion that is fairer Norma
No question. Clinical needs. Greg
Reverse racism ! to be honest, Maori for instance would also be high on clinical needs anyway due to —on the whole—bad diet, cigarettes, alcohol, gen. lifestyle. Colin
Surely this is racism in the highest degree. I contacted the NZ HTC to ask them if they supported this and they never replied Andrew
Hard to believe we have to vote on an issue as obvious as this. How did we even get here !! Gutless politicians are to blame. Lawrie
This is a no brainer but political elites with no brains are making the decisions. Entry into the health system must be on clinical need only. If not we face a future of division, frustration and the breakdown of social cohesion. Lee
What next ? Mark
This situation is racially outrageous. Sanctity of life and well being applies equally to everyone and not prioritized to those who generally contribute less to society. Tony
I have all ready been delayed because of race colin
There is far too much legislation based on race. The clock needs to be reset whereby the colour of the skin is not a prerequisite. Mark
It’s hard to imagine how anyone could genuinely believe it should be based on race. Hilary
Clinical, of course, but I would be called racist for saying that. I truly despair for this country. Joyce
I can’t believe this question even needs to be asked! Utter madness. Sue
When will people be required to take some personal responsibility for their actions instead of being supported to blame others John
That has to be one of the stupidest questions ever asked or are you suggesting that a white person requiring a heart transplant wait, while a coloured person has an ingrown toenail removed; so that the system isn’t accused racism. George
This question could decide the results of the election. We should make this a condition of voting for a DHB board member. It is reverse racism and against human rights Leon
Definitely clinical needs not on the basis of a fraudulent argument. David
If based on race, I am going to class myself as maori, they can’t prove I am not. without a DNA test. I’ll say my mother had a secret affair with a part maori Hone
This is, to coin a well used phrase, institutionalized racism, against non-Maori people and is contrary to the Human Rights Act.. Sound familiar? John
Priority status on hospital waiting lists MUST be based on clinical need – absolutely NOT race!  Dennis
This is a shocking revelation. It just shows how widespread separatism now is throughout government agencies.  Roger
The political campaign against the Ministry for Children has been appalling to watch. And now this racists undermining of health care! When will it stop???  Len
National needs to state outright that they would put a stop to this. As Muriel says in her column, there are many ways to improve health disparity, namely making sure people who need treatment can get it.  Andrew
Race-based health care is an abomination. George