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The fact half of Māori and Pacific deaths in New Zealand are potentially avoidable has been called a national travesty. Now, a health board is set to declare racism as one reason for the health chasm.

Northland DHB turned the mirror on itself and, in a briefing endorsed by its chief executive, concluded, "as an institution we fitted the definitions which described racism, inequity and inequality". Nicholas Jones reports.

Another DHB is set to declare racism as a reason for poor health suffered by Māori - adding momentum to a major shift in the health sector.

Northland DHB will sign-off a position statement on institutional racism, a term that describes how procedures or practices result in some groups being disadvantaged.

An internal briefing bluntly states: "Northland DHB has been aware that as an institution we fitted the definitions which described racism, inequity and inequality."

The development comes after the Herald on Sunday revealed Auckland DHB had concluded racism a "basic, underlying" reason for the health chasm between Māori and

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