Tag Archives: Winston Peters

The Measure of Māori Wellness

Winston Peters is employing classic diversion techniques in order to avoid answering questions as to why he hasn’t sacked Mr Prosser – in this case it is an attack on the associate Ministry of Health about funding of traditional Māori healing (rongoā Māori) through Whanau Ora (apparently $1.9M worth).  He claims that there is no measure of efficacy and that even the numbers of recipients of the service are unknown.

If he is correct, then he has a point.  No Ministry of Health funding should be spent without either good evidence or a good program to gather evidence (presumably first as a pilot scheme and then with continued monitoring).

There is framework by which such evidence could be gathered.  The  framework was the culmination of a research project which developed outcome measures for rongoā Māori based on Māori concepts of wellness.

The Ngā Tohu o te Ora (signs of wellness) research project was developed to investigate outcomes associated with rongoā Māori, in order that this traditional practice might enjoy increased support as a funded service. The primary aims were to:

  1.  Identify wellness outcome measures used by traditional Māori healers, and

  2. Develop and test a framework of traditional Māori wellness outcome measures.

I am no position to judge how good the research was and while the reason for developing the framework has an obvious bias (in order that….increased support as a funded service), I would still expect that this framework at least has been employed to assess the efficacy of the services provided by Whanau Ora.  Has it?  If not this framework, then what?

If there has been no measure of efficacy of the Whanau Ora program, then I wonder what other programs the Ministry of Health has funded without any monitoring?

As long as this is not another Winston Peters beat up, then it may be the tip of the iceberg and an opportunity for evidence based medicine to be pushed to the fore in the MOH.


Back to school Mr Prosser

I once stood as a parliamentary candidate in the Waimakariri electorate as did Richard Prosser.  I got more votes than he did, albeit a few years earlier (Compare electoral results 2011 & 2005)).  If I were to appeal to the same level of logical reasoning as does Mr Prosser,  more votes makes me more of a politician than he.

Mr Prosser’s logic goes thus:

Terrorists are probably Male, 18 to 35

Terrorists are probably Muslim

Terrorists probably “look” Muslim (whatever that means)

Victims are probably Western Airlines

Therefore ban Male, 18-35, Muslim or Muslim-looking males from flights on Western airlines.

This is exactly why we need critical thinking programs in schools.  Indeed, all parliamentarians should have to pass a course in critical thinking before they are permitted to take up their roles.  Consider these Mr Prosser:

In New Zealand terrorists are either Male or Female

In New Zealand terrorists are French

In New Zealand terrorists are military

In New Zealand terrorism takes place on boats

Therefore ban all French military personnel from boats in New Zealand.


Rapists are probably Male, older than 18

Rapists are most likely known to their victim

Rape victims are probably female

Therefore ban all males known by females from being in the same room as them.

The good news is that this would keep Mr Prosser out of Parliament if only one female MP says they know him.  After what he has said, this cannot be taken for granted.

What may keep Mr Prosser out of Parliament is if Mr Peters fires him.  So far he has failed to even suggest Mr Prosser make an apology.  In my book this makes Mr Peters complicit to racism of the most ignorant insulting kind.  Perhaps if after a beard growing Movember he were hauled from a flight he would change his mind.

Sources: One News & Daily Telegraph, with artistic license by Dr JP

Sources: One News & Daily Telegraph, with artistic license by Dr JP

In the meantime, Mr Prosser has failed Critical Thinking 101 and should return to school this week where I very much hope teachers are taking the opportunity to teach not merely how to respect others, but how to think critically.