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The challenge of providing child health care in the Indigenous population of New Zealand


Dr Leo Buchanan, 342 The Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand. Email:


This paper defines who is Maori, and traditional Maori attitudes to health and children. It notes the differing levels of engagement of Maori with their culture and the reliance of most Maori on Non Maori practitioners for their medical services. Three relatively common paediatric problems are then used to illustrate the challenges of neither underplaying nor overplaying environmental factors in working with Maori families. The key role of the word respect in working towards positive encounters with Maori is emphasized.