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Racism is a "basic, underlying" reason for poor health suffered by Māori and Pacific New Zealanders, a major DHB has concluded.

Auckland DHB will put managers through training modules as part of a new plan to stamp out institutional racism - a term that describes how procedures or practices result in some groups being disadvantaged.

Māori health leaders have hailed the DHB's position as courageous and groundbreaking.

"It's a first for DHBs, and it's a great move," said Dr David Tipene-Leach, chair of Te Ora, the Māori Medical Practitioners Association. "The first step is to recognise the problem. And then