Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa the National Māori Mens Health Coalition (Provider), was mandated at the inaugural conference held in June 2009. The inception of a National Māori Mens Health Coalition is underpinned by a call for proactive responsiveness to the relatively poor health statistics and lower life expectancy of Māori men, and the need for nationally networked approaches and strategies to address the health and social issues of Māori men in Aotearoa.

In 2001 there were 157,000 Māori men over the age of 15 living in New Zealand, 83% of whom resided in urban areas. This number is predicted to double by 2051. (Hauora Tane:Brief Report Māori Men’s Health Study).

The work done to date is that Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa was successful in its application to the Te Ao Auahatanga Hauora Māori: Māori Innovation Fund under the category; Te Kākano: Seeding Innovation. The purpose of the Te Ao Auahatanga Hauora Māori: Māori Innovation Fund provides the opportunity to create, develop and share innovative practices in Māori health, and expand on successful models, programmes and services. It also supports the sharing of successful practices and effective outcomes with the wider sector, providing a forum for information exchanges and facilitating research and best practice guidance.

Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa will work to consolidate our initial establishment as a National organisation through the development of a strategic and business plan. Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa is committed to undertaking national networking, raise awareness of men’s health issues, profile relevant health and social services targeting men’s health including best practise, share information, research and collaborative approaches with key stakeholders with a view to improving Māori men’s health.

Māna Tane Ora o Aotearoa is committed to undertaking a round of consultation hui to determine membership and the regional make up processes.

In addition, Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa will work to capture, collate and be a repository for information/data relevant to Māori men’s health, and will perform the role of a clearing house for that information/data to members and relevant networks.

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As a population group, Māori have on average the poorest health status of any ethnic group in New Zealand. As such, Men’s Health Week has a strong focus on improving the health of Māori men in the context of whānau ora.

Māori men fare poorly compared with other New Zealanders on a number of health indicators:

  • In 2005–2007, male life expectancy at birth was 79.0 years for non-Māori and 70.4 years for Māori, a difference of 8.6 years.
  • The death rate for Māori males is approximately twice that of non-Māori males.
  • Leading causes of death for Māori men include cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory disease.

Māori men are 1.5 times more likely to be current smokers than men in the total population.

In order to improve Māori men’s health it is necessary to understand and address the root causes of these inequalities. It is well documented that Māori men have poorer access to the social determinants of health (such as education, employment and income) than non-Māori men. In addition, Māori are less well served by the New Zealand health care system, not just in terms of access but also in relation to the quality of care provided.

The underlying causes of these inequalities relate to New Zealand’s colonial history, social marginalisation and racism at a number of levels. This represents a breach of the rights of Māori men. As well as empowering Māori men to take steps to improve their health, it will be necessary to address these broader social factors and ensure health care services deliver effectively to Māori men.

What these negative statistics obscure is the enormous potential that Māori males have. Māori males have made significant contributions in a range of fields including the arts, politics, sport, science, law and medicine. Many of the stories behind these achievements are about resilience in the face of adversity. Being a healthy Māori male is about drawing strength from one’s cultural identity and heritage while at the same time being a global citizen with the ability to succeed in many different ‘worlds’. Improving wellbeing for Māori males means removing the barriers to achieving these goals. There is a lot of passion and energy in Māori communities around advancing Māori men’s health; this needs to be supported at all levels of society so that the full potential of Māori males can be realised.

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4e10fab797a24_Riki-Nia-Nia   Riki Niania – Te Whanganui a Tara

Riki affiliates to Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Reinga and Tuhoe. Riki lives in Auckland where he is currently employed as the GM Māori Health at Waitemata & Auckland DHBs. Riki also chairs Tumu Whakarae (DHBs national Māori health leadership group) and the Kia ora Hauora Māori Health Careers Programme. Riki has previously been the Director of Maori Health at Counties Manukau DHB, and the Executive Director of Māori health across Capital and Coast, Wairarapa DHB & Hutt Valley DHBs.

4e10facf84c22_Tahi-Takao   Tahi Takao – Whakatu

Tahi Takao (Tūhoe) lives in Motueka. Tahi is one of the kaumatua to the Nelson/Marlborough DHB, and he is also the Maata Waka representative on the Tau Ihu Iwi Health Board. Tahi has been in the health arena for a number of years having had experience in mental health, alcohol & drug, older peoples health and many other facets of the health system, both primary and secondary health. To date he has served a total of 56 years in the public service, 38 years with the Post Office/Telecom, 2 years in the NZ Army in Korea during the Korean War, 2 years in the Department of Social Welfare as a cultural advisor, 14 years in the primary and secondary health as a cultural advisor/kaumātua.

Tahi has served on numerous committees and advisory groups including a number of national organisations. He has been a justice of the peace for 26 years and served on the Rolleston District Prison Parole Board for 6 years. Tahi is very passionate about the inferior status of Maori Mens health because of his knowledge of the problem areas that need to be addressed in order for better health outcomes for Maori men. Tahi has 6 children, 28 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. He considers himself, privileged and blessed to be still around to share quality time with them.

Steve-Kenny   Steve Kenny (Tipene) Ngāti Toa, Taranaki Whānui, Ngāpuhi, Ngāi Tahu

Steve’s background is described as liquorice all-sorts, however he has spent the past 15 years in various roles in mental health, drug & alcohol, primary care, public health and cancer control. Up until recently Steve was the National Men's Health Coordinator for Cancer Society NZ developing the men's health programme “Get The Tools”. He has recently left this role to focus on his own whānau owned business Tiaki Housing Solutions. Steve has a post graduate diploma in public health and is currently undertaking his masters at Otago while serving on the Māori partnership board for Capital and Coast DHB and juggling community, iwi and whānau responsibilities and projects.

Te Kani  Te Kani Kingi

Te Kani Kingi is currently Professor of Strategic Projects at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi. He has a background in Māori health research with a specialist interest in mental health. He is a former member of the National Health Committee, the National Ethics Advisory Committee, the New Zealand Public Health Association, the New Zealand Pharmacy Council, and former Chair of the Mental Health Commission.

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