At its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 24 September 2020, the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand amended its rules to allow the appointment of the president of Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Puna Rongoā (the Māori Pharmacists’ Association) to its National Executive, in addition to the seven elected members.
The Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand is the professional, membership-based association representing over 4,000 pharmacists in New Zealand. The Māori Pharmacists’ Association is a group who represent Māori professionals in the pharmacy sector, guided by Māori principles and values.
Ian McMichael, president of the Society says, “We believe that we can’t look to address equity issues unless we look at our obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and accept Māori in a full partnership role.”
Ngā Kaitiaki o Te Puna Rongoā president, Kevin Pewhairangi says, “The Māori Pharmacists’ Association is committed to improving health outcomes for Māori and we are delighted that the Pharmaceutical Society is partnering with us on this.”
Mr Pewhairangi, a pharmacist at Horouta Pharmacy in Gisborne, is already involved in running cultural competency training for the Society to help members increase their knowledge of Māori tikanga (culture) and its application to pharmacy practice.
“This is a huge milestone for our association and a sector leading movement made by the Pharmaceutical Society,” says Mr Pewhairangi.
“For health equity to occur there must be genuine engagement and dedication to the cause. The Pharmaceutical Society are showing other stakeholders that in order to improve the sector's response to health inequities and put in genuine work to improve the poor health status of Māori, it must not only be from the frontline, but also from the top down - this being stakeholder governance groups,”
“Partnership is an underutilised tool that has the potential to make the difference when all other methods have fallen short.”