Priority 1 | Whakaarotau 1: Improving equity and wellbeing for Māori


Why we should do this: what the evidence says

Develop and implement breastfeeding measures with an emphasis on increasing Māori health equity.


Breastfeeding can be strengthened by robust measurement and reporting. This would support DHBs to prioritise breastfeeding support for Māori, aligning with their responsibility to Te Tiriti (Manhire et al 2018).

Work in partnership with whānau, hapū and iwi Māori in the co-design, co-development, planning, decision making and evaluation of breastfeeding innovation and support services, including co-designing a new programme to incorporate into maternity, Well Child Tamariki Ora (WCTO) and primary care services.


Proactively engaging with whānau, hapū and iwi Māori (at national and regional levels) will ensure Māori are partners in decision making on matters affecting their health and wellbeing (Tapera et al 2017).

Strengthening successful kaupapa Māori services and realigning services that are not appropriate or relevant to Māori consumers ensures that these services are well-placed to meet the breastfeeding needs and aspirations of Māori whānau (Edwards and Rangipohutu 2014).


Edwards H, Rangipohutu I. 2014. Ūkaipōtanga: A grounded theory on optimising breastfeeding for Māori women and their whānau. Doctoral dissertation. Auckland: Auckland University of Technology.

Manhire K, Williams S, Tipene-Leach D, et al. 2018. Predictors of breastfeeding duration in a predominantly Māori population in New Zealand. BMC Pediatrics. 18(1): 299–313.

Tapera R, Harwood M, Anderson A. 2017. A qualitative Kaupapa Māori approach to understanding infant and young child feeding practices of Māori and Pacific grandparents in Auckland, New Zealand. Public Health Nutrition. 20(6): 1090–8.

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