A new online tool aims to help turnaround the health of Māori men, who have the country’s lowest life expectancy, by highlighting to policymakers statistics in key focus areas, from smoking to unemployment.
The Tāne Ora Health Indicator tool was launched last night in Wellington by Mana Tāne Ora o Aotearoa, the National Māori Men’s Health Coalition.
Chair Riki Nia Nia said improving Māori men’s health was “our country’s greatest opportunity” with Māori men in many instances having the poorest standard of health of any population group in the country.
The tool identifies and provides statistics on six primary health & wellbeing indicators:heart disease, diabetes, smoking, mental health, education (18-year-olds with NCEA Level 2 or higher) and the number of young Māori men not in employment, education or training (NEETs). The Māori men’s health statistics can be compared with non-Māori and women at a national level and district health board by district health board.
Nia Nia said the indicators reflected the significance of social detriments on health and were all key priority areas to focus on if Māori men were to be “enabled to fulfill their potential as the best fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and leaders at home, at school, at work and in the community”.
Mana Tāne Ora hoped the tool would result in “more deliberate and intentional strategic discussions on Māori men’s health by decision-makers in our country and will positively influence and target more meaningful and effective investment”.
“The system needs to start seeing Māori men as our greatest opportunity, not our biggest risk,”said Nia Nia. “It needs to start investing in the enormous potential our Māori men have and need to look at how we can create rapid change to surface this investment.”