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Māori and Pasifika Eye Health

RANZCO is committed to working towards eliminating eye health inequalities across Australia and New Zealand.

In July 2021, the RANZCO Board endorsed the Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) principles following earlier endorsement by the New Zealand Branch.

  • Tino rangatiratanga: The guarantee of tino rangatiratanga, which provides for Māori self-determination and mana motuhake in the design, delivery and monitoring of health and disability services.
  • Equity: The principle of equity, which requires the Crown to commit to achieving equitable health outcomes for Māori.
  • Active protection: The principle of active protection, which requires the Crown to act, to the fullest extent practicable, to achieve equitable health outcomes for Māori. This includes ensuring that it, its agents and its Treaty partner are well informed on the extent and nature of both Māori health outcomes and efforts to achieve Māori health equity.
  • Options: The principle of options which requires the Crown to provide for and properly resource kaupapa Māori health and disability services. Furthermore, the Crown is obliged to ensure that all health and disability services are provided in a culturally appropriate way that recognises and supports the expression of hauora Māori models of care.
  • Partnership: The principle of partnership which requires the Crown and Māori to work in partnership in the governance, design, delivery and monitoring of health and disability services. Māori must be co-designers, with the Crown, of the primary health system for Māori.

In July 2022, RANZCO signed an Tatau Pounamu/Memorandum of Understanding with Kāpō Māori Aotearoa New Zealand, a national indigenous, member-based and led society, to work collaboratively to improve indigenous eye health in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Through the partnership, Kāpō Māori and RANZCO Māori and Pasifika Eye Health Committee have developed the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Action Plan (aka ‘Māori Action Plan’) focused on eye health care.

Underpinning this work are three guiding principles:

  1. Genuine partnership with Māori
  2. Cultural competence
  3. Improving Māori representation within the ophthalmology workforce

This is yet another step forward in our efforts to improve equity of access for Māori populations and we will continue this process through further consultation with Māori.

A Pasifika Action Plan (PAP) was also developed by the Māori and Pasifika Eye Health Committee, with input from Pasifika Medical Association (PMA), to address eye health inequities for Pasifika Peoples in Aotearoa.

RANZCO will continue the partnership with Kāpō Māori and Pasifika Medical Association in implementing, monitoring and evaluating the Te Tiriti o Waitangi Action Plan and Pasifika Action Plan, in collaboration with other stakeholders in the eye health sector in New Zealand.

RANZCO works to address eye health inequalities through training an ophthalmology workforce that is culturally competent and provides health services that are culturally safe for both patients and doctors. This includes working to increase the numbers of Māori and Pasifika ophthalmologists.

To encourage more, Māori or Pacific Island doctors into a career in ophthalmology, RANZCO has adopted a centralised recruitment process that will automatically allocate an interview to qualified applicants who identify as, Māori or Pacific Islander. In addition, RANZCO has launched two scholarships of AUD$2000 annually for medical students or junior doctors of Māori or Pacific Island descent who wish to pursue a career in ophthalmology.

RANZCO has also established a Service to New Zealand Māori and Pacific Islander Peoples Award. This award is given in recognition of outstanding service to the College, ophthalmology or community in New Zealand or in recognition of mentoring Māori and Pasifika doctors or medical students

Last updated: June 22, 2023

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RANZCO acknowledges our First Australians, the Traditional Custodians of the land
on which we live and work, and pays respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
Gadigal people of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the land
where the RANZCO head office is located.
In recognition that we are a bi-national College, we also
acknowledge the Rangatiratanga of Māori as Tangata Whenua
and Treaty of Waitangi partners in Aotearoa New Zealand.