A Marlborough Maori health service provider has opted out of working as part of a coalition with six other providers across the top of the South Island, with a representative saying the group did not believe the arrangement would allow it to maintain its integrity,
Nelson Marlborough District Health Board gave approval last week for Maori health providers in Marlborough and Nelson to work as a coalition, providing solutions that "work best for whanau".
However, Blenheim's Te Hauora O Ngati Rarua has decided to go it alone.
Chairman Rod Bird said the organisation had raised concerns about the process, viability and direction of the coalition from early on and were particularly concerned about a lack of set values or shared vision.
Dr Bird said the organisation had thought a lot about their decision but had decided they needed to take a different path from the coalition, "at significant risk to our own organisation".
"We believe we have set the benchmark for quality services for Maori providers in Te Tau Ihu [the top of the south] and are proud of our record," he said.
"We operate from a set of values that we adhere to and which we are not prepared to compromise."
Ngati Rarua would be re-defining their operations and future directions as an organisation, he said.
Health board Maori health and whanau ora general manager Harold Wereta said the new structure was created by Maori health providers and the Maori community for the Maori community.
"We are entering into a new period and the journey is about working with whanau potential and ensuring they are able to make decisions about their health and wellbeing," he said.
Health board chief executive Chris Fleming said the new approach, which was to be in place from July 1 next year, would impact on all services contracted by the board, and all Maori health providers.
The plan proposed the establishment of a new entity, new service delivery points and the implementation of a new whanau ora [family health] framework.
All board funding for Maori personal health, tamariki ora [children's health] and Kaupapa Maori mental health services would be delivered through the new entity.
Marlborough Maori health provider Maataa Waka Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust general manager Gail MacDonald said they were on board with the coalition, although they had yet to sign a business plan.
"We are definitely still at the table, and just going through negotiations with regard to services for our area, and we wanted to make sure before we sign [the agreement] that we weren't losing any services . . . it's looking positive," she said.
Coalition Te Taumata Hauora O Te Aroha chairperson Ra Hippolite said the door was still open to Te Hauora O Ngati Rarua.
"They have been part of this journey and if they wish to finish this journey with us of course they will be welcomed back."
Te Hauora O Ngati Rarua and Maata Waka Ki Te Tau Ihu Trust took on some of the 505 people who lost their health provider when Te Rapuora o te Waiharakeke closed because of financial problems in December last year.
Te Rapuora was Marlborough's biggest Maori health provider and the first one in the South Island.
It served the Maori community for 26 years.
- The Marlborough Express