Two groups of Māori health leaders are launching a claim in the Waitangi Tribunal about what they say is "inequity and institutionalised racism in the health system".

The two claimant groups are being heard in the Waitangi Tribunal from Monday at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, as part of stage one of the national kaupapa inquiry into health services and outcomes.

They say inequity and institutionalised racism in the health system exists and the Crown is failing to care for Māori health and wellbeing.

Te Kōhao Health managing director Lady Tureiti Moxon said the current system was not meeting the needs of Māori.


Their Wai 1315 claim, involving a group of Māori working in primary care in the North Island, had been 13 years in the waiting, Moxon said.

It was filed back in 2005 in response to the Government's Primary Health Care Strategy.

"What we saw then continues now - the system is not meeting the needs of Māori. The inequalities that exist between Māori health and the health of others is a national outcry for our people and our nation."

Together with claim Wai 2687, the groups shared the view mana motuhake, self determination and Māori autonomy, would produce better health outcomes and save lives.

The claimants were seeking recommendations from the Tribunal for legislative reform of the system for Māori to have autonomy of their own healthcare services to organise, develop and deliver.

Both groups considered the Crown did not establish the health system to work for Māori, but elevating mana motuhake would enable the claimants to determine solutions that worked for whānau.

"The ultimate solution lies in constitutional reform based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi that entrenches equity of outcome and Māori participation in achieving this" National Hauora Coalition chief executive Simon Royal said, representing the claim Wai 2687.

"In the meantime legislative reform and public policy change is required ensuring Māori health is adequately resourced - so we can see Māori thrive."