Wai 2575 Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry

Initiated in November 2016, the Waitangi Tribunal Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry (Wai 2575) will hear all claims concerning grievances relating to health services and outcomes of national significance for Māori.

As of June 2020, there are approximately 220 claims seeking to participate in the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry (the Inquiry). The claims are historical and contemporary covering a range of issues relating to the health system, specific health services and outcomes, including health equity; primary health care; disability services; mental health; and alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse.

 The Inquiry consists of three stages: 

  • Stage One inquired into the legislative and policy framework of the primary health care system (with hearings from October to December 2018)
  • Stage Two will be structured in two parts covering three priority areas.  Part one will focus on Māori with disabilities. Part two will focus on Māori mental health (including suicide and self-harm), and issues of alcohol, tobacco, and substance abuse
  • Stage Three will cover the remaining national significant issues and eligible historical issues. There is currently no date for when this stage will begin.

You can find out more about the Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry on the Waitangi Tribunal website.

Stage One – Primary Health Care

Māori Primary Health Organisations and Providers (Wai 1315) and National Hauora Coalition (2687) are the named claimant groups for stage one. Seventy-six other claimant groups were granted interested party status, with varying levels of participation throughout Stage One.

Eleven days of hearings for Stage One of the Inquiry took place at Tūrangawaewae Marae, Ngāruawāhia from 15 to 19 October, 23 to 26 October and 1 – 2 November 2018. Two further days of hearings took place at the Waitangi Tribunal Offices in Wellington on 17 and 18 December 2018. Closing submissions took place at the Waitangi Tribunal Offices in Wellington on 12 and 13 of March 2019.

On 1 July 2019 the Waitangi Tribunal released their report on Stage One. The report includes several findings and recommendations for the Crown to consider:

The Tribunal requested that the Crown and claimants report their progress on 20 January 2020. That date was extended to 1 June 2020 after a joint request from the Crown and claimants.

The Crown and the named stage one claimants have been engaging since June 2019 about the findings and recommendation of the Hauora Report. In March 2020 a Heads of Agreement was signed between the Crown and the named stage one claimants to progress the two interim recommendations in the Hauora Report.

On 3 June 2020 the Crown and claimants filed a joint progress report to the Tribunal. The progress report noted that the Crown and claimants have been working virtually together and will file a further joint report with the Tribunal in response to the interim recommendations on 31 August 2020.

Stage Two – Mental Health (including suicide and self-harm), Māori with disabilities, and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Substance Abuse

On 9 October 2019 at the Waitangi Tribunal Offices in Wellington, a judicial conference was convened to discuss stage two planning and the order of the three priority areas.

The Waitangi Tribunal has decided to hear matters relating to Māori with Disabilities as the first part of Stage Two. Hearings are likely to take place in the second half of 2020. The second part of Stage Two will focus on Māori mental health (including suicide and self-harm) and issues of alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse.

Māori with disabilities

The Tribunal has begun grouping claims that raise disability issues for the inquiry. So far, the Tribunal has identified four claims as consolidated, which means that all the allegations in those claims relate to disability. These claims are noted in table one below.

Table One – Consolidated Disability Claims

The Tribunal has also, on a preliminary basis, aggregated approximately a further 45 statements of claims (named in the directions below) that raise some disability issues. An aggregated claim means that some allegations within the claim do not relate to disability but that they may fall within the scope of later phases of the inquiry programme.

All claims are available in full on the Waitangi Tribunal website, searching Wai 2575

The Crown filed their preliminary response with the Tribunal on 4 March 2020. The Crown legal team has done an initial analysis of these claims and several potential issues have been identified. The issues include the scope of some claims going beyond health services and outcomes and a lack of clarity around the event or legislative instruments that the claims are based on. The preliminary response requested the Tribunal’s clarification of the intended scope of the inquiry into disability claims.

Judge Clark provided a response to the Crown’s preliminary statement of response in his Memorandum-Directions on 5 March. The directions address the Chief Historians review of research filed on the Wai 2575 Record of Inquiry relating to the Māori with disabilities, requests for projects briefs and responds to the Crown’s request for a prompt assessment of statements of claim to be aggregated in the disability part of stage two.

The Crown submitted its Initial Statement of Response to the Tribunal on 8 April 2020

The Tribunal requested in a Memorandum in October 2019 that Crown and claimant counsel (preferably jointly) provide an agreed inquiry programme that sets out Identification of coordinating counsel, arrangements for the preparation and finalisation of an agreed statement of issues, a suggested discovery process, a timetable for filing of witness statements, an estimation of the number of hearing weeks required, a hearing timetable and identification of suitable locations for hearings.

Claimant counsel submitted a joint Memorandum of Counsel (Claimant Counsel only) to the Tribunal on 9 April 2020 that addressed COVID-19, coordinating counsel, statement of issues, discovery, hearing timetable - including filing dates, estimated hearing weeks and locations and special assistance.

On 15 April the Crown submitted a Memorandum to the Tribunal that set out the Crown’s position on timetabling and responded to the claimants memoranda filed with the Tribunal.

On 17 April 2020 the presiding officer sent a further Memorandum-Directions addressing request for further research, the consolidation, aggregation, eligibility and pleading exercise currently underway and an interlocutory process for stage two of the Health Services and Outcomes Kaupapa Inquiry relating to disabilities.

On 29 April the Crown filed a Memorandum with the Tribunal providing an update on the meetings with claimant counsel as mentioned in earlier Memoranda.

On 1 May 2020 the Presiding Officer released a further Memorandum-Directions concerning scope, eligibility and pleading issues in stage two of the Inquiry relating to Māori with lived experience of disabilities. The Memorandum stated that discussions between the Crown and claimant counsel in regard to pleadings should continue and directed the Crown to update the Tribunal by 29 May 2020.

On 29 May the Crown filed a Memorandum updating the Tribunal on work with claimant counsel since the 29 April memoranda. The Crown requested to continue discussions with claimant counsel and proposed to submit a joint memorandum from Crown and claimant co-ordinating counsel on 10 July 2020.

On 4 June 2020 the Presiding Officer sent a Memorandum-Directions to all Inquiry participants responding to the recent submissions concerning Māori with lived experience of disabilities and the response to the Hauora report (stage one of the Inquiry).

Accessing Wai 2575 documents

See the Ministry of Justice website to access the official copies of documents filed in current Tribunal inquiries.

To find the health kaupapa inquiry evidence from the claimants, the interested parties and the Crown use the search function on this page specifying the following two items from the various drop down menus (the remainder are optional and for more precise searching):

  • Wai number - Wai 2575
  • Document group - Record of Documents


The following resources have been provided by the Ministry of Health to help inform the Health Services and Outcomes Inquiry (WAI 2575)

Please note: This information has been prepared by the Ministry of Health.  While the information contained in the reports was considered to be true and correct at the time they were each prepared, changes in circumstances after such date may impact on the accuracy of the information and the Ministry does not warrant or represent that the information contained in the reports is free from errors or omission.  The Ministry takes no responsibility for the accuracy, currency, reliability or correctness of links or references to the listed information sources.

If you have any comments about the resources or would like to contact us, please email: [email protected]

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