Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Indigenous Health Leadership: A Kaupapa MāoriPerspective from Aotearoa – New Zealand
  1. Divyansh Panesar,
  2. Jamie-Lee Rahiri,
  3. Jonathan Koea
  1. General Surgery, Waitematā District Health Board, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Divyansh Panesar, General Surgery, Waitematā District Health Board, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand; dpan151{at}


This article describes the challenge of addressing indigenous health leadership to reduce ethnic disparity in modern healthcare. The indigenous New Zealand population, Māori, are disadvantaged across many health domains including the socioeconomic determinants of health. The Treaty of Waitangi, considered New Zealand’s founding document, outlines Māori autonomy and leadership, and can be applied to a model of health equity. Leadership frameworks in this sense must incorporate ethical and servant leadership styles across a shared, distributive leadership model to develop safe and equitable health environments where Indigenous ways of being and knowing are not subjugated. This is a shift from traditional hierarchical paradigms of the past and acknowledges Māori as having the autonomy to lead and maintain equitable health outcomes.

  • health system
  • population
  • values
  • health policy
  • learning organisation

Statistics from


  • Contributors DSP is the guarantor for the overall content. DSP devised the project, the conceptual basis of the manuscript and researched the theories described pertaining to leadership models, leadership styles and Kaupapa Māori. J-LR and JK expanded on the conceptual basis of the manuscript. J-LR and JK helped research and authenticate the Kaupapa Māori, te Tiriti o Waitangi and mātauranga Māori arms of the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.