Fight Institutional Racism
Please can you help our campaign by posting this email on your yahoo group. Thank you.
Fight Institutional Racism
Kia Ora, Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail,
Hutt Valley District Health Board recently announced its intention to axe specialist services for Maori (kaupapa) and Pacific Island clients experiencing mental health difficulties. Senior Managers could have acted in partnership and supported these services to flourish. Instead, they were cut. Read about the backlash against this decision (Dominion post & Hutt News)
We believe that undermining, failing to support and eventually axing these services is evidence of institutional racism within Hutt Valley DHB. Please Help.
If you are a Maori or Pacific Island resident of the Hutt Valley, you (or your whanau) will no longer have access to specialist cultural services. If you are a health care or public sector worker (anywhere in NZ/Aotearoa), specialist cultural services may soon be axed in your organisation. Maybe you have been the victim of or witnessed institutional racism. The reality is that this issue effects all of us. Please help, your actions can make a difference.
How You Can Help
**Forward this e-mail on to as many people as possible (e.g. colleagues, friends, family). and let people know what Hutt Valley District Health Board have done.
**Petition Hutt Valley DHB to take a first step in eradicating institutional racism by requesting an independent cultural audit by The Human Rights Commission. For convenience you can cut and paste the following template -
I am concerned that Hutt Valley DHB's decision to cut specialist mental health services for Maori and Pacific Island clients may be a reflection of institutional racism within your organisation. As a first step to identifying and resolving this issue I would like to request that you ask The Human Rights Commission to undertake an independent cultural audit of Hutt Valley DHB's mental health service.
E-mail petitions should be sent to Sara.Shaughnessy@... (head of mental health) and copied to Chai.Chuah@... (CEO of Hutt Valley DHB) and tari.turia@... (Tariana Turia - Associate Minister of Health).
**If you are a Maori or Pacific Island resident of the Hutt Valley region and you use one of the specialist services to be axed, you can register a complaint with The Human Rights Commission. 'Forced integration' is in contravention to The Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples. The complaint process is outlined in the following link. http://www.hrc.co.nz/home/hrc/enquiriescomplaints/enquiriescomplaints.php
Read more about institutional racism in NZ/Aotearoa health care at the following links -
Thank you for taking the time to read this e- mail. You can make a difference. Please help.
UPDATE 17th Sept 2009
Thank you for taking the time to read this update. Once you send a petition email you may now receive a counter email by Jill Lane (of Hutt Valley DHB) actually denying the fact that specialist mental health services for maori and pacific island clients have been axed. Sadly, this is the kind of misrepresentation and inaccuracy that has lead us to take this course of action and further underlines the need for an independent cultural audit of Hutt Valley DHB mental health services. Jill Lane describes existing Kaupapa Maori Mental Health and Pacific Island Services as "silos". She goes on to describe plans to 'pepper pot' Maori and Pacific Island clinicians through generic teams, the belief being that this will better address the cultural needs of clients. Treating Maori and Pacific Island clinicians as 'individual additives' to stengthen mainstream teams is, of itself, quite insensitive. In addition, it highlights a troubling lack of awareness (or disregard) for Maori and Pacific Island cultures, practices and approaches to recovery from mental illness. Kaupapa and Pasifica teams are premised on collective approaches like whanau ora, manakitanga, whanaungatanga etc. The therapeutic, restorative and healing powers of these practices and Maori / Pacific models of care are therefore impossible if a kaupapa or Pasifica team is dispersed, integrated, diluted or otherwise assimilated. For us, the DHB's monocultural response is simply more evidence of the necessity for an independent review of cultural safety / responsiveness. It is telling that their response makes no mention of our continuing request for an independent review. Again, thank you for taking the time to read about our concerns. Please feel free to circulate this email to any interested parties.
Nku i runga i aku mihi ki a koe
UPDATE 22nd Sept 2009
You can now comment on this issue at
UPDATE 25th Sept 2009
Hutt Valley DHB continues to insult and manipulate. It has been confirmed that the community mental health service there will continue to offer junior Doctors a 'cultural placement' (one of only a few available in the country) as an essential part of their training. During these placements Junior Doctors are expected to work within the kaupapa of Maori and Pacific Island Cultures and be expose to issues such as cultural safety, tikanga and kaupapa ways of working etc. Having axed these kaupapa services, Hutt Valley DHB will now blatantly and cynically use its Maori and PI staff and clients to maintain the deception that this important training placement still exists. Again, a clear example of institutional racism within Hutt Valley DHB. We are now calling on Junior Doctors and their Union to boycott this placement.
Nku i runga i aku mihi ki a koe
- First Nations and Health Canada Controversy !
WINNIPEG — It's been over a week but Canada's health minister said she still doesn't know why dozens of body bags were sent to some Manitoba reserves in preparation for flu season.
Leona Aglukkaq met with aboriginal leaders in Winnipeg Thursday to repair some of the damage done by the shipment of body bags which aboriginal leaders called insulting and horrifying.
Chiefs had called for a personal apology from Aglukkaq, as well as the resignation of senior bureaucrats responsible. While Aglukkaq vowed to get to the bottom of it a week ago, she didn't offer an apology Thursday or an explanation.
"It is deeply regrettable," she said following a meeting with Grand Chief Ron Evans of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
"I need to evaluate what happened, whether this is an isolated case or whether it's a case that happened across the country. It's important for me to ensure that I have all the facts."
Health Canada shipped dozens of body bags to remote reserves in northeastern Manitoba last week, along with hand sanitizer and other medical supplies. The reserves that received the shipments were those hardest hit by swine flu in the spring.
Many interpreted the bags as a grim prediction from Ottawa that many in those same communities would not survive the second wave of H1N1.
Although Health Canada bureaucrats say the body bags were simply part of a normal restocking process and not connected to swine flu, Aglukkaq said her staff is still investigating.
When the investigation is complete, she said the report will be shared with aboriginal leaders.
That explanation seemed to satisfy some chiefs who had been furious the week before. Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern First Nation communities, said he's prepared to wait for a full investigation.
"It's still under inquiry so we'll be getting some information as soon as the inquiry is done," he said following a late afternoon meeting with Aglukkaq. "We're pretty satisfied with that."
The national scrutiny and political pressure brought on by the shipment of body bags seems to have had a positive effect, Harper said. Health Canada is finally taking their concerns seriously and is helping communities prepare for the second coming of swine flu, he added.
Last weekend, the government outlined a plan for regular meetings between the Assembly of First Nations and government staff.
Some Manitoba chiefs are meeting again with Aglukkaq and other ministers next week in Ottawa to talk more about flu preparedness.
"Things are moving forward," Harper said. "There is another wave that's on its way. It's possibly here now so we have to deal with this issue as soon as possible."
Evans said they will wait patiently for the report into why body bags were sent to some reserves. In the meantime, he said communication between First Nations and Health Canada has improved.
"I feel we are being listened to now," he said. "We've come a long way . . . It's a matter of now ensuring that the things we talk about at the table are indeed followed through."