A Māori Health Authority will continue the journey towards "equity of access, experience and outcomes" for Māori, newly appointed co-chair Sharon Shea says.
This is what Shea hopes to achieve in her new role, as well as creating opportunities for tangata tiriti and tangata whenua to "truly work in partnership".
Addressing inequities in the health system was about recognising some families were "behind the start line", Shea said.
"There are significant drivers of inequity that are outside the health system...
"Income, education, housing, connection to culture, identity and self-esteem...all those things associated with poverty," Shea said.
However, Shea said there were "pockets of excellence" where the health system had achieved equity.
"So, we should always look for the opportunity and not look for excuses.
"We have to level the floor to lift the ceiling."
The partnership of Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority would form a "reimagined connected health system", Shea said.
"I'd really like to create the opportunities for tangata tiriti and tangata whenua to come together collaboratively to truly work in partnership and the Māori Health Authority is a vehicle for that.
[It's] the most promising vehicle we've ever had in New Zealand's health system."
Shea said the Māori Health Authority was "a practical expression of the treaty" which enabled the system to "leverage off mātauranga Māori - all forms of Māori knowledge".
"For the first time, it gives Māori the opportunity to directly commission a sweep of cultural and clinical services that privilege a Māori worldview."
Shea said health services delivered by Māori were "not exclusive" to Māori, and there were "a lot of non-Māori people" who really valued the opportunity to use a kaupapa Māori service.
"Covid-19 has created the opportunity for a lot of non-Māori to experience a Māori model of care."
Vaccine clinics at marae and mobile services meant people could enjoy the "value-faced care of Māori" such as manaakitanga.
"You get a cup of tea and something else afterwards. You don't necessarily get that in those big drive-throughs."
Shea said the main obstacles facing Māori communities with getting the vaccine were "access to services" and a distrust of the system due to "post-colonisation trauma".
"Some of the issues are intergenerational and they're complex and they're not going to be solved by an ad on tv."
While the Government had put more resources into addressing some of those issues, more work needed to be done so families could "protect themselves and their loved ones".
"We just need to do whatever it takes to get people to see the value in vaccination."
Shea hoped the Māori Health Authority could "contribute significantly to a mātauranga Māori informed Covid-19 roll-out."
Achieving a 90 per cent vaccination rate in New Zealand was important for the economy, the well-being of our people and "for us to stay alive", Shea said.
"It's a deadly virus particularly for those who are considered to be at risk, vulnerable or older."
As "a recovering lawyer", Shea said she loved working in health because she could "create solutions that support people" who needed it most.
"I'm a really big believer in the wellbeing of [the] community and in particular the wellbeing of those who are less unfortunate.
"That's why I'm a champion of equity, resilience and belonging."