Te Tiriti ō Waitangi is an integral part of the Baby Friendly Aotearoa Programme.
Unuhia te rito o te harakeke
Kei hea te kōmaki e ko
Rere ki uta, Rere ki tae
Ui mai koe ki au
He aha te mea nui
Maku e ki atu
He Tangata, He Tangata, He Tangata
If you remove the central shoot of the flax bush where will the bellbird find rest?
If you were to ask me, "What is the most important thing in the world?
I would reply
It is people, it is people, it is people
This whakatauākī (proverb) reflects the vaule of the physical and spiritual relationship that supports our kaupapa. The values of Baby Friendly Aotearoa celebrate the bi-cultural partnership of two distinct cultures in Aotearoa New Zealand; Māori as the indigenous people of Aotearoa, and those who have subsequently settled in this country from other lands. This relationship is stated in Te Tiriti ō Waitangi, the founding agreement of Aotearoa New Zealand that this country is built on.
NZBA works within a Treaty framework and its work is influenced by the outcomes of the Waitangi Tribunal Claim - Wai 2575: the Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry.
In the face of ongoing systemic racism and poverty that threatens Māori wellbeing, it is imperative that disparities in health care are eliminated in order to reach equity of health outcomes for all. The Baby Friendly Aotearoa Programme represents a foundation for optimism and confidence for all our futures.
From a Māori world view, wai ū, or breastfeeding, is a reflection of the wellness of the whānau/family unit, a hapū/subtribe and an iwi/tribe. Wai ū was linked to whakapapa or genealogy so the cultural practice was crucial to existence of generations in the future and acknowledgment of those in the past. The Baby Friendly Aotearoa Programme recognises and supports Māori aspirations to make decisions around their own healthcare, including the need to maintain their own cultural practices around wai ū.
Breastfeeding support services have best outcomes when they are driven by the needs of individuals and whānau/family. Health professionals need to understand Māori world views (Te Ao Māori) and the health system must integrate Te Ao Māori into health practices to provide positive breastfeeding experiences.
Te Ao Māori provides the basis for planning for healthcare that demonstrates the intent of Te Tiriti Ō Waitangi and is responsive to Māori aspirations. Māori scholar, Sir Mason Durie, describes the different aspects of the Māori holistic model “Pae ora: Healthy Futures” as:
Te Mauri ora: Healthy individuals within a whānau/family reaching maximum potential
Whānau/family ora: Healthy environments - Māori in whānau/family are supported to reach their potential in terms of their health
Wai ora: Enabling environments – Māori have access to resources and live in an environment that supports wellbeing and healthy life on their terms.
Te Tiriti Ō Waitangi articles are expressed through the followoing principles:
Partnership or Pātuitanga: The principle of partnership ensures that NZBA and iwi/Māori work with each other to build a strong partnership.
Mana Taurite or Equity: NZBA demonstrates their commitment to achieving equitable health outcomes for whānau Māori is at its core. Eliminating all forms of racism is critical to achieving health equity and the vision of pae ora – a healthy future for all New Zealanders.
Tino Rangatiratanga or Self-Determination: This principle provides for whānau Māori self-determination and mana motuhake. The NZBA works with whānau Māori stakeholders in the design, delivery and monitoring of its work.
Whakamarumarutia or Active Protection: The principle of active protection ensures that NZBA works effectively to protect breastfeeding including protecting the BFI and improving Māori breastfeeding health outcomes.
Kōwhiringa or Options: This principle supports NZBA to advocate for change in the health and disability sector to ensure that services are provided are culturally safe and uplift Te Ao Māori models of care.